Real Madrid round-up: Kroos and Morata back, Kovacic out
Real Madrid are recovering a large chunk of their squad in Toni Kroos, Alvaro Morata and Danilo but will be without Mateo Kovacic and others against Borussia Dortmund.
Good news - Recovering Kroos and more
Toni Kroos returns to Real Madrid's squad against Dortmund along with Alvaro Morata and Danilo. Kroos has been out since the start of November when he broke his foot against Leganes. He was expected to be out until the new year but he has worked hard in an effort to return and has been given the all clear.
Morata is in the squad too, having recovered from a hamstring injury on the 12th of November while on international duty.
Bad news - Losing Kovacic and more
Real Madrid will be without Mateo Kovacic, Mariano, Nacho and Fabio Coentrao as they welcome Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night. Casemiuro returns but given Kovacic's good form, he will be a miss. The Croatian has recovered from an abductor injury, he is still on the list of names who will miss out for technical reasons - most likely the return of Toni Kroos.
Gelson Martins going nowhere
Sporting Club de Portugal's speedy right winger, Gelson Martins, is going nowhere despite interest from Real Madrid amongst others. The 21-year-old impressed on both occasions that the Portuguese club played Real Madrid in the Champions League but his agent told reporters that "He is a Sporting player and will continue to be in January."
Dortmund's sixth trip to the Bernabeu
Borussia Dortmund have played Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu five times before tonight's encounter. The best result they have achieved was a 2-2 draw in the 2012-13 Champions League group stages with a goal from Marco Reus and an own goal from Arvelo Arbeloa. The rest? They have lost them all, conceding nine goals and only scoring once!
Do Real Madrid go for the win?
The second pot in the Champions League is full of danger. The losers of tonight's game between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund will enter the second pot, and avoid the potential crocodiles that lay waiting on that side of the draw including PSG, Benfica, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Bayer Levekursen.
In pot one, Arsenal, Napoli, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Leicester City and Monaco lay waiting while Real Madrid could not face Atletico Madrid or Barcelona meaning finishing second could be a blessing in disguise for Zidane's side. The Frenchman said, however, that winning is all Real Madrid know how to do and it is part of their DNA meaning any suggestion that they will take their foot off the gas is nonsense.
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