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Verdict: home win
Best Odds: 8/11
Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach will meet this Wednesday at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in the final round of the group stage of the Champions League, in what will be a crucial match for both teams.
Real Madrid may have won three consecutive Champions League trophies with Zinedine Zidane from 2016 to 2018, and they may be the reigning La Liga champions, but their results have been so disappointing recently that the Frenchman found himself answering questions in conferences. press about the possibility of getting the sack.
Their problems are especially evident in the Spanish top flight, where they were beaten comprehensively (4-1) against Valencia in early November, followed by a 1-1 draw against Villarreal, a 1-2 home loss to Alavés and a dose of respite. through a 1-0 away win against Sevilla. After that came the 2-0 Champions League loss to Shakhtar in Donetsk, and it is worth remembering that the Ukrainian team also beat them in Madrid in the first round.
Real’s last six matches in all competitions ended in two wins, one draw and three losses.
Real are now in fourth place in the La Liga table, with 20 points from 11 games played, six less than Atlético de Madrid at the top, who have only played 10 games.
As for the Champions League, it is in a very difficult situation, facing a very real possibility of not making it to the round of 16. A loss here would definitely make it happen, while a draw could be enough if Shakhtar lose to Inter Milan. A victory would make them pass.
The big news for Zidane for this match is the return of captain Sergio Ramos, who should return to his central position ahead of Nacho Fernández. Winger Eden Hazard and right-back Dani Carvajal are out. Marco Asensio and Lucas Vázquez are likely to substitute, although the coach could opt for Álvaro Odriozola on the defensive flank ahead of Vázquez.
The Bundesliga team could hardly have expected the situation they are in at the moment in this group: topping it with eight points, one less than Shakhtar and Real, while Inter sit at the bottom with five. A victory in Madrid would see them finish where they are, it goes without saying, and a draw would also be enough to guarantee them a place in the round of 16. However, if they lose, their fate will depend on what happens between Inter and Shakhtar: a share of the loot in Milan would be the only favorable outcome for Gladbach in that case.
The Bundesliga has played 10 rounds so far this season, and Marco Rose’s team is currently in seventh place with 16 points, seven fewer than Bayern Munich, who lead the group.
Of his last six matches in all competitions, Gladbach won, drew and lost twice each.
Rose is likely to be left without the services of center-back Nico Elvedi, likely forcing him to use defensive midfielder Christoph Kramer at the heart of defense again.
Forward Marcus Thuram came off the bench in a 2-2 draw against SC Freiburg on Saturday, but is well defined to start against Real.
One thing that has always been a characteristic of Real Madrid is that they tend to win when it matters most, by whatever means necessary, at any cost. After all, you don’t become European champion 13 times without that club culture. They are in crisis at the moment, but in fact it is very difficult to imagine that they will not give their all to ensure that they continue to play in UEFA’s elite club competition in the spring.
Verdict: home win
Best Odds: 8/11