Champions League Final 2023/24: Madrid chasing 15th title

Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid meet at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, June 1, with the 2023/24 Champions League trophy on the line.

Dortmund have been the surprise package in this season’s tournament and are massive underdogs to claim their first European title since 1996/97.

By contrast, Madrid are familiar with winning silverware in the largest stadiums in the world having clinched the Champions League on 14 previous occasions.

Read on as we look at their respective routes to the prestigious final, before assessing which team will emerge victorious at the end of the game.

The route to the 2023/24 Champions League Final

Borussia Dortmund

  • Group F: W3 D2 L1 F7 A4 – winners
  • Round of 16: PSV Eindhoven – W3-1agg
  • Quarter-finals: Atletico Madrid – W5-4agg
  • Semi-finals: Paris Saint-Germain – W2-0agg

Real Madrid

  • Group C: W6 D0 L0 F16 A7 – winners
  • Round of 16: RB Leipzig – W2-1agg
  • Quarter-finals: Manchester City – D4-4agg (W4-3 pens)
  • Semi-finals: Bayern Munich – W4-3agg

Madrid should be too strong for Dortmund

Dortmund did well to finish top of a group containing Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United, before upsetting the odds to reach the final.

Victories over PSV Eindhoven, Atletico Madrid and PSG sent them through to a showdown with Madrid and they will believe they are destined to lift the trophy.

Their last Champions League final was also played at Wembley in 2013, where they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.

Dortmund have recorded just three victories over Madrid in 14 previous meetings, with their last success coming in the 2012/13 semi-finals.

By contrast, Los Blancos have lost only one of their last 20 UEFA competition matches against German teams (W13, D6) and are strongly fancied to win at Wembley.

They picked up maximum points against Napoli, Braga and Union Berlin in the group stage, but have found things trickier since then.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were pushed hard by RB Leipzig in the last-16, before being taken to a penalty shoot-out by last season’s winners Manchester City.

A thrilling semi-final victory over Bayern highlighted Madrid’s unfathomable ability to grind out results in this competition.

Intriguingly, this is the first time Madrid have reached the final of UEFA’s top club competition without losing a match somewhere along the way.

Madrid’s squad is packed with quality, while their uncanny ability to win silverware will likely prove too much for Dortmund to handle.

Their standout performer is Jude Bellingham – a player who made his name with Dortmund before heading for the bright lights of Madrid last summer.

After a superb season in the famous white jersey, the midfielder seems destined to crown it by winning club football’s biggest prize in his home country.

Predicted starting line-ups

  • Borussia Dortmund: Kobel, Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen, Can, Sabitzer, Adeyemi, Brandt, Sancho, Fullkrug.
  • Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Eder Militao, Rüdiger, Mendy, Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga, Bellingham, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior.

Champions League final prediction

Dortmund can be extremely dangerous on the counter-attack – a point evidenced by their smash-and-grab victory over PSG in the semi-finals.

However, Los Blancos are more street-wise than the Ligue 1 outfit and possess the know-how to keep Dortmund at arms-length.

Madrid have done things the hard way in the previous two rounds against much tougher opponents than Dortmund have faced in their respective ties.

The German side are unlikely to go down without a fight, but Madrid are impossible to oppose in what will probably be a low-scoring encounter.

Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Real Madrid.

Champions League Final 2023/24: Madrid chasing 15th title

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