Real Madrid couldn’t have asked for a better draw having got struggling Wolfsburg plus the advantage of the second leg at home. Wolfsburg’s domestic troubles continued on Friday evening as they were comfortably beaten by Leverkusen, and they’ve picked up only one point from three games since just about getting past Gent a month ago.
That latest defeat has left Wolfsburg with only a small chance of being back in Europe next season and while they’ve won all four European home games this term this is a significant step up for them. They’ve been beaten 2-1 and 2-0 at home by Dortmund and Bayern in the Bundesliga this season, while losing 5-1 at Bayern in the third of their meetings with Germany’s Big Two. Furthermore, in the previous three years their record against Bayern was five defeats in their six league meetings.
Real Madrid are coming off the high point of their season to date after a come from behind win in the Clasico and they now get a chance to continue their impressive European form. They’ve kept seven clean sheets in eight UCL matches this term while continuing to be prolific in front of goal. Since 2013/14 they’ve won four of seven away matches in the knockout stages and all of those wins have come by more than one goal. Moreover, when travelling to teams ranked outside of our European top 10, Real have a 100% record since 2013/14 with 10 wins and seven have been by more than one goal.
Wolfsburg have a few injury doubts with Naldo, Daniel Caligiuri and Bas Dost all struggling to be fit. Real Madrid, meanwhile, can name a full strength side and they will surely be too good for the Germans. Given their tendency to win by multiple goals, however, the handicap looks to offer some extra value with Wolfsburg’s lack of confidence likely to be severely tested if they fall behind. If their heads go down Real’s front three showed at the weekend just how dangerous they can be and this could easily end up very one-sided.
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