Real Madrid travel to Wolfsburg for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter final tie.
Real Madrid are making their sixth successive quarter final appearance in the competition and have reached semi-finals in all of the previous five occasions. Their Wednesday’s hosts Wolfsburg are making their first ever appearance in the last 8 of the competition and this is only their second ever season in Champions League after making their first appearance in 2009/10 season.
Real Madrid got the better of Serie A side Roma in the first knock-out round winning both home and away legs by a same 2-0 scoreline. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal each on both legs and currently top the scoring charts in the completion with 13 goals, 5 more than the second placed Robert Lewandowski.
Wolfsburg were up against newcomers KAA Gent in the round of 16 and they started off by winning the away leg 3-2 and finished the job at home by a narrow 1-0 win. The Germans are currently stuttering in Bundesliga and Real Madrid is different proposition from the teams they had met so far in this competition.
Since the 1-0 home win against Gent in the second leg, Wolfsburg failed to win in any of their three matches, with 2 defeats and a draw. They only managed to score 1 goal in those three matches. Their league form is on the low and they have won 3 matches from the last 15, which includes 7 defeats and 5 draws.
In Champions League this season. Wolfsburg have won 6 and lost 2 from their 8 matches so far. They have also unbeaten at home this season and kept a clean sheet in 3 of them.
Real Madrid are coming on the back of a morale boosting win against their arch rivals Barcelona on the weekend and have now managed 6 straight wins in all competitions.
Real Madrid are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League and have won 7 out of their 8 matches. They have just conceded 3 goals so far in this competition, all of those in the 4-3 win at Shakthar, which means they have kept a clean sheet in 7 of the 8 matches.
Wolfsburg: Team News
The Bundesliga side has plenty of injury concerns in the build-up to this match. Their experienced defender Naldo together with Sebastian Jung is ruled out for the rest of the season.
Bas Doost is also ruled out for this tie as there is a big worry as the likes of Julian Draxler and Max Kruse are carrying knocks, but head-coach Dieter Hecking will take a risk by fielding them against Real Madrid.
Wolfsburg: Expected Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Benaglio – Träsch, Dante, Knoche, Rodriguez – Arnold, Guilavogui – Vieirinha, Schürrle, Draxler – Kruse.
Real Madrid: Team News
Real Madrid head-coach Zinadine Zidane has the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from in the trip to Wolfsburg. Rafael Varane still remains a doubt, so it will be once again the partnership of Pepe and Ramos at the center back.
Casemiro is expected to feature in the starting line-up following his standout performance aghainst Barcelona, but Zidane could opt for any one of Isco or James to come in his position.
Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo will once again lead the attacking front as the team looks to add more to goal scoring tally of 23 Champions League goals this season.
Real Madrid: Expected Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Navas – Danilo, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo – Kroos, Modric, Casemiro – Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid: Head-to-Head Stats
This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides in a UEFA competition.
Wolfsburg have played against Spanish opponents on two occasions in the Europa League. Their overall record reads 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat.
Real Madrid have a strong record against German oppositions and they have won 21 of the 28 matches, drawn 4 and lost just 3. Their last trip to Germany was to meet Schalke in last season’s round of 16, a fixture they lost by 4-3.
Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid: Prediction
Real Madrid are heavy favourites here and it will be a tough task for Wolfsburg to get anything away from this match. Under Zidane, Real Madrid have adopted a direct attacking approach and now they have started firing from all cylinders.
Gareth Bale’s performances in the recent outings has to be particularly highlighted, while Ronaldo who can be anonymous for most part of the game can find goals out of nothing. A massive 20 goals is what they scored in the last 6 matches and a Wolfsburg side, who are yet to win in their last three matches could be torn apart here.
But expect an entertaining encounter, Wolfsburg won’t sit back and defend as they know their best chance is to attack and get some goals. My Prediction is Real Madrid to win by 3-1.
Recommend Bet: First Half – Over 1.5 goals @ 2.33