In anticipation of the massive Champions League ties in the Quarter-Final stage, we’ve done something special for our build-up. Eight teams, eight experts, each giving us their insight into their team’s chances, tactical set ups and bold predictions.
Phil Kitromilides is the expert for this piece focusing on Real Madrid. Phil is a Real Madrid TV presenter and commentator who can be heard commentating on every Real game from the first-team to the youth sides. Follow him on Twitter @PhilKitro.
Firstly, what are your thoughts on Real madrid’s Champions League campaign so far?
Madrid have been impeccable in the Champions League this season. They’re the top scorers and the only unbeaten side along with Atletico. I think 16 goals scored in the four away games they have played gives a pretty good indication of how strong they have been.
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The Usual question again, what does it mean for Real Madrid to get La Decima?
La Decima is something everybody associated with Real Madrid in any capacity has been wanting for a long long time. When it comes it will be an historic and unforgettable occasion.
Robert Lewandowski will be back for the second leg and even though Real have a 3-0 lead, The Polish striker is always a threat. What Do Real need to do to keep him quiet?
Though I wouldn’t got as far as to say that Madrid were under prepare from Lewandowski last year, I think this year they are much more aware of his dangers. He is quite a physical striker and I think both Pepe and Ramos need to use all their physical strength this evening in not letting him bullying them in the box, which sadly he did to brutal effect last season.
Real Madrid have been dominant in the Champions League, with many considering them as favourites. What has Ancelotti done, Tactically, to ensure this dominance?
Nothing has been done specifically for the Champions League, but the switch from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3 precipitated by the injury Sami Khedira has allowed the team to have more balance, something that Ancelotti has searched for relentlessly this season.
What would your starting XI for the second leg against Borussia Dortmund be? How would you set them up
Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Modric, Xabi, Di Maria, Bale Benzema Cristiano. If Cristiano doesn’t play Di Maria should come into the forward line and Illarra in the midfield.
We attempt to track the progress of the best young players as much as time allows under our #TalentRadar and Scout Report features. Which youngster coming through from PSG are you most excited about?
I commentate a lot of Real Madrid youth games, and there are some superb young players coming through. In Real Madrid Castilla I like Omar Mascarell who’s an intelligent deep lying midfielder and Derik who’s a physical centre back with great positioning and speed. In Real Madrid C, Alvaro Medran recently got called up to the first team squad, and is a small but tenacious midfielder with an eye for a spectacular goal. And in the Under 19s there a kid called Enzo, who’s elegance reminds me of someone (Enzo’s paternal surname is Zidane).
Finally, if you were to make a prediction for the tie, who do you see going through? Any particular scoreline for the second leg?
2-0 Madrid. An early goal will kill any hope for Dortmund, and put the tie beyond all doubt.
Over to you, what are your thoughts on the game between Dortmund & Real Madrid?
For the rest of our interviews from this series and all our other interviews, head this way.