MX23RW : Monday, August 2 23:09:51| >> :60:2178:2178:
Dec 9, 2020 at 8pm UK at Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano
Real MadridReal Madrid
2-0
Borussia M'bachBorussia Monchengladbach
Benzema (9', 32')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Zakaria (88')

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Borussia Monchengladbach - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Monchengladbach, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A make-or-break match for Real Madrid in the Champions League takes place on Wednesday when they welcome Borussia Monchengladbach to the Spanish capital for their final match in Group B.

Los Blancos currently sit third in the group after five matches, whereas Monchengladbach lead the way in a must-win clash for both managers.


Match preview

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane pictured in November 2020© Reuters

In a Champions League group which comprises Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk, only a plucky few would have placed bets on the latter two being on course for spots in the last 16.

Failure to advance from the group stage would surely signal the end of Zinedine Zidane's second stint in the Bernabeu dugout, but Real's destiny is still in their own hands despite their precarious position in the group.

As long as Real Madrid triumph on their own turf, they will go through. Second-placed Shakhtar face bottom side Inter at the same time, but the result of that game may pale into insignificance depending on what happens at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Two dampening defeats to Shakhtar - including a 2-0 loss last week - currently sees Real occupy the Europa League spot in Group B, and it is inconceivable to imagine the 13-time European champions playing in the second tier of continental football.

Los Blancos prepared for this game in optimal fashion with a 1-0 triumph over Sevilla in La Liga, although Zidane's men had to rely on a howler from Bono in the Sevilla goal to scrape a narrow victory on Saturday.

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Monchengladbach are in dreamland at the top of Group B, and the Bundesliga side have earned their right to be there, but the race to make the last 16 will go right down to the wire this week.

The 16 goals that Marco Rose's men have notched up in the group stage can only be matched by Barcelona and Bayern Munich, which is no surprise given the outstanding form of Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea - the latter of whom has five goals in the tournament so far.

Monchengladbach are currently one point clear atop the rankings with Shakhtar and Real hot on their trail, and a draw in Madrid would guarantee a top-two finish and a spot in the next round, but that is much easier said than done.

Rose's men would have been confident about their chances of overcoming an out-of-sorts Freiburg side at the weekend, but Monchengladbach could only take a point from that 2-2 draw in the Bundesliga, with Plea once again on target alongside Breel Embolo.

Coincidentally, Monchengladbach's first game with Real ended 2-2 back in October, with Thuram putting the German outfit 2-0 up before a late Madrid comeback saw Karim Benzema and Casemiro both find the back of the net in the dying embers.

Real Madrid Champions League form: LDWWL
Real Madrid form (all competitions): LDWLLW

Borussia Monchengladbach Champions League form: DDWWL
Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions): LDWWLD


Team News

Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring for Real Madrid on November 3, 2020© Reuters

In a huge boost for Zidane, the Real manager should be able to welcome captain Sergio Ramos back from injury for this crunch match, and the veteran could slot right in at centre-back in place of Nacho Fernandez.

However, Eden Hazard remains on the treatment table alongside Dani Carvajal, with Lucas Vazquez deputising for the latter recently, although Vazquez may now find his spot under threat from the returning Alvaro Odriozola.

Martin Odegaard could also make his return to the Blancos midfield for this six-pointer, with Marco Asensio also pushing for a start in Zidane's front three.

As for Monchengladbach, the visitors may have to make do without two centre-backs in Nico Elvedi and Tony Jantschke again, meaning that Christoph Kramer could be forced to fill in defence once more.

Ramy Bensebaini is also yet to make his return from a positive coronavirus diagnosis, but Thuram is sure to come back into the team after being named on the bench for the draw with Freiburg.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Odegaard; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius

Borussia Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Kramer, Wendt; Zakaria, Neuhaus; Lazaro, Stindl, Thuram; Plea


SM words green background

We say: Real Madrid 3-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

Monchengladbach may be tempted to err on the side of caution for this one given that a draw is all that they require, but with the attacking talent in the visitors' ranks, they may be better off going for goals amid several defensive concerns. This should be a thoroughly entertaining game - one which is sure to be one of the biggest of Zidane's managerial career - and we think that the 13-time European champions will nick a crucial win to book their place in the last 16.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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