Football

Published: Wednesday April 2, 2014 MYT 2:52:02 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 2, 2014 MYT 2:53:04 AM

Dortmund could be Real's toughest opponents yet - Klopp

(Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund could provide Real Madrid with their sternest test so far this season, said the German side's coach Juergen Klopp ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final clash.

Dortmund, who knocked Real out of the competition at the semi-final stage last season, have been plagued by injuries but this has not deterred Klopp from being upbeat.

"If we want, we can be the biggest barrier that Real Madrid have had up to now," he told a news conference in Madrid.

"I am not a magician but we are here again, now in the quarters having overcome all the adversaries we have had so far. We passed through the group stage.

"It is not a surprise that people say that I am a magician. We have a few more injuries now but at the same time those who don't play often will grow.

"Real Madrid are a more flexible side this year and in my opinion are better. (Luka) Modric is on top form and the connection between (Gareth) Bale and (Angel) Di Maria is incredible for their rhythm and pace.

"We are used to not being the favourites and later making it difficult to play against (us). We have become quicker and if they give us space then we can cause them damage.

"If we lose it is not a catastrophe as few can say that they have done what we have done in the past ten years."

Dortmund's injury list includes Neven Subotic, Sven Bender, Ilkay Guendogan, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Marcel Schmelzer and they are also without talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski for their first leg through suspension.

Klopp though refused to be downhearted.

"To play without so many (injured players) isn't so bad. Tomorrow we won't dominate possession but one against one moments can be decisive. We will see which two strikers play... it is better to maintain the surprise," he said.

"I've seen a lot of Real Madrid's matches and there has not been one team that has not had a chance to score against them.

"We will show our quality, we will have to give our all and fight to the final minute. If we play our own game and have confidence then we will have our chances."

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

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