After winning both of their opening group games, in differing fashion, the two titans of Germany and Spain lock horns in what is an eagerly anticipated match in the most atmospheric of stadiums.
Similarly strong starts
Following impressive seasons, both teams have started their new campaigns in convincing fashion — scoring goals for fun.
After losing three important players crucial in getting back into the UEFA Champions League, Borussia Dortmund have bounced back well to fight the odds. A dominant win over Thomas Tuchel's former side 1. FSV Mainz 05 could not be repeated as newly-promoted RB Leipzig tactically outclassed the 2011/12 champions to claim their first win in the top tier.
On their return to the competition of Europe's elite, Dortmund took the frustration of their recent loss out on Legia Warsaw. A one-sided match as you're ever likely to see, the Polish side could not withstand the fluently efficient attacks as die Schwarzgelben ran out 0-6 winners.
The effortless victory over Legia soon got the ball rolling, as SV Darmstadt 98 and new coach Norbert Meier were the victims of another six-goal mauling — five of the goals coming after the break. Continuing this form, a stronger opponent in VfL Wolfsburg were then put to the sword in their own backyard as ex-Dortmunder Jakub Błaszczykowski could not prevent another goals fest.
Dortmund will have had an extra night's rest over their rivals as just past Friday, a valiant SC Freiburg outfit were bested in front of the Gelbe Wand with Raphaël Guerreiro, in particular, capping off a well-orchestrated team goal.
Over to arguably the most famous football club in the world, it's been nothing short of a perfect start to what is widely seen as a perfect side months after claiming European Cup number eleven.
Wins over minnow sides Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Espanyol proved to be straight forward, but a spirited Celta Vigo side were certainly up to the dogged task of claiming a point in the capital. Alas, it was not to be as a cool, low curler from ex-Münchener Toni Kroos sealed all three points for los Blancos.
Sporting CP gave los Galacticos a real run for their money in the Bernabéu with a whirlwinding performance. Having taken the lead shortly after the break, the visitors continued to dominate. It wasn't until player-turned-coach Zinedine Zidane brought on some subs that the tide began to turn.
A moment of magic from Cristiano Ronaldo drew the sides level in the 89th minute with a top-corner free-kick against his boyhood club, before an Álvaro Morata winner from an expert James Rodríguez cross sealed the undeserving snatch-and-grab.
In preparation for their trip to Europe's most fearsome ground, Madrid fittingly faced off against La Liga's two yellow-kitted teams. However, the matches proved to be anything but straightforward as Villarreal earned a point in the capital, before ex-Barcelona academy prospect Sergio Araujo capitalised on an error to earn a famous point for the tiny island of Las Palmas.
With the resurrection of Borussia Dortmund, from financial worries, came a mini-rivalry with Real Madrid. Following a disappointing Champions League campaign in the 2011/12 season, the Yellows were drawn against the tournament's elite — alongside Manchester City and Ajax Amsterdam.
In the first match between the two, it was then-Jürgen Klopp's team who prevailed over José Mourinho's star-studded side capotalising from two defensive errors, which surprisingly did not involve Sergio Ramos. Lightning looked to have striked twice as der BVB were on for a famous victory in Castilia, but a late free-kick from ex-Schalker Mesut Özil shared the spoils.
Now onto the famous meeting: having both qualified in the top two of their group and progressing through the rounds, the two juggernauts locked heads in the semi-finals. Dortmund — who only just squeezed past Málaga CF — blew los Blancos out of the water as a revitalised Robert Lewandowski went on a goal-spree scoring all four goals. With one eye on the final, the now-Liverpool manager looked to hold on Bernabéu against the now-Manchester United coach.
But for all their wealth and power, Madrid could not breakthrough the stubborn Dortmund defence until very late on. Die Schwarzgelben were forced to weather the storm as two goals in the last ten minutes put them on edge, but, alas, a third could not be found, and a place in the final was booked.
Move forward a year, and the two were drawn against the other in the quarter-final. Learning from their lacklustre performance, Real Madrid fired on all cylinders and carried a three-goal lead to the Ruhrpott. Unfortunately for the German side, the fortunes were switched this time around, as it was they who had to chase the game.
A Marco Reus double in the first-half had many dreaming of another final, but a third could not be found despite Henrikh Mkhitaryan missing a glorious opportunity to level the aggregate. Madrid proceeded to the semis and, after dispatching of Bayern Munich, eventually defeated city rivals, Atlético Madrid, in the final to claim La Décima — their tenth European Cup.
Both teams are at nearly full-strength heading into the tussle, although BVB are still without Marco Reus; he is on his way back, however. Sven Bender and Erik Durm are the other notable absentees. On the other hand, Real are without both Marcelo and Casemiro through injury.
Borussia Dortmund: (4-1-4-1) Bürki; Piszczek, Sokratis, Ginter, Schmelzer; Weigl; Dembelé, Götze, Guerreiro, Schürrle; Aubameyang.
Real Madrid: (4-2-3-1) Casilla; Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Danilo; Modric, Kroos, Kovacic; Bale, Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England).