Borussia Dortmund need a big performance to beat Real Madrid

Borussia Dortmund are in with a chance to create history and give a telling send-off for Marco Reus, but they will need more than just vibes.

So far, in the build-up to the UEFA Champions League final, it has all been about vibes regarding Borussia Dortmund. All the talk has been around Marco Rues and how much he deserves to bow out on a high in what has been an unusually unfortunate career.

Reus missed out on the World Cup with an injury before the tournament in 2014, and similar fitness issues have plagued him throughout his career. A large chunk of the neutrals from across the globe are in support of BVB, specifically for Reus to win the Champions League crown.

However, Borussia Dortmund need more than just vibes. They need a complete performance to negate the threat posed by the formidable Real Madrid ahead of the final in Wembley. For Edin Terzic, it has to be a tactical masterclass to get one over the line. But are the Black and Yellows prepared for this one?

Going by their end-of-the-season form and that in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, one might assume yes that they are in a competitive mood. However, to beat a team like Real Madrid in their quest for a 15th Champions League crown, they will have to be perfect in all aspects. We have already looked at the final from Real Madrid’s perspective, and it is time to do that for Dortmund.

Marco Reus may not start and should not start

For all the talk around Marco Reus and the need for the universe to tilt the Champions League crown in his lap, Edin Terzic should not consider using him from the start at all costs. The attacking midfielder needs to be faster and certainly out of touch from being one of the sharpest players around.

With his experience, he does add good value from the bench and even in the attacking third. However, Borussia Dortmund and Terzic have plenty of players to call upon, depending on who is available from a fitness point of view.

As things stand, Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, and Jadon Sancho should be the clear starters for BVB alongside Niclas Fullkrug in the centre-forward role. Hence, they should stick with this setup or even consider Donyell Malen in the mix, but not Reus from the start if they are earnest about lifting the coveted trophy.

BVB must exploit Real Madrid’s defence

As seen against Atletico Madrid and PSG over the four games in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Borussia Dortmund showcased an attacking setup capable of hurting big defences. Even against PSG, where they might have won with single-goal margins in each leg, they proved they are not afraid to attack their defence.

Real Madrid’s big weakness is at the back, and that is an area which the Bundesliga giants might have to exploit. They do have the physical presence of Niclas Fullkrug and the trickery of Karim Adeyemi and Jadon Sancho. But the Black and Yellows will need Brandt here to open up the defence.

For all of the big names in Real Madrid’s backline, they still need to improve in cohesion, as Eder Militao might come in for a start alongside Antonio Rudiger. The pair has barely played this season due to the Brazilian’s injury, and he still might need to be at his sharpest best. Hence, Dortmund should look to exploit that backline to get one over Real Madrid.

BVB must be a clinical

For all the talk about Borussia Dortmund’s formidable attacking setup, their problems up front were visible against PSG, when they were creating a host of chances without the ability to finish their opportunities. While Real Madrid’s defence may have problems, the BVB attackers must take every chance with all seriousness as they come.

Niclas Fullkrug remains a firm finisher, but there are doubts about Jadon Sancho and Karim Adeyemi. An alternative thought is to start with Donyell Malen, who had a fantastic 2024 and might get the nod to begin against Real Madrid if he is fit.

Overall, Edin Terzic should emphasise the finishing ability and ensure that his players rarely waste chances. This game seems poised to end in a slender manner, meaning every chance will count.

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