Champions League final: Where Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid could be won and lost | UEFA Champions League draws on the analytical skills of its expert team reporters in London to consider the key areas which may decide Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

Here’s what our Dortmund reporter Matthias Rötters and Madrid counterpart Graham Hunter think could make the difference.

Champions League final build-up

Will Dortmund’s defence remain stable?

Dortmund did not concede a goal in two games against the often prolific Paris Saint-Germain attack in the semi-finals. The factors behind their success are an incredibly reliable goalkeeper in Gregor Kobel, two centre-backs who have been in top form recently in Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, and an aggressive team defence that starts with striker Niclas Füllkrug up front. If their rearguard action works again, it could be difficult for Madrid. If not, as we saw in Dortmund’s game at Atlético de Madrid, it will be difficult.

Real Madrid’s road to the final: Every goal

Who gets the nod in goal for Madrid?

The key conundrum for Madrid is, unquestionably, in goal. Andriy Lunin is the unsung hero of this campaign; superb against Leipzig in both legs, defiant in normal time, extra time and penalties against Manchester City, then crucial against Bayern. Thibaut Courtois, so long as he’s fit, deserves to start because of hierarchy. Carlo Ancelotti believes the Belgian is the world’s top No1 but, having been out for 95% of the season, is there a danger that starting someone who was Player of the Match in Madrid’s last Champions League final, two years ago in Saint-Denis, might be a risk? Good luck with the decision Mr Ancelotti.

Can Dortmund’s wide men cause Madrid problems?

It is no secret that Dortmund’s wingers Jadon Sancho and Karim Adeyemi are fundamental weapons in BVB’s offence. If Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy can get to grips with the Black and Yellows’ pacy players, they will take a lot of the punch out of Dortmund’s attacking play. If not, these two have already proved in the competition this season how much of a handful they can be. But Madrid’s full-backs are committed to relentlessly attacking high up the pitch. This has often been a match-winning tactic but, in this game, it is important to note that Dortmund’s wingers will have huge opportunities to probe in behind Ancelotti’s full-backs and, at least in Edin Terzić’s game plan, try to wreak havoc.

Dortmund’s road to the final: Every goal

Madrid’s midfield up to the challenge?

Madrid’s midfield is normally a big strength and very feasibly a game-winning plus point here too. But it looks extremely unlikely that Aurelién Tchouaméni will be fit. That’s a loss. Then there’s the news which has been greeted with an outpouring of appreciation across the football community – Toni Kroos’ decision to retire after UEFA EURO 2024. Will that, in any way, affect his mentality? Might the experience of saying goodbye to ten fabulous years with Madrid in a Champions League final be overwhelming? You would think, and hope, not. And for the unrivalled star of Madrid’s season, Jude Bellingham, this is, nonetheless, his first Champions League final – at Wembley no less. Challenges galore.

Which Dortmund player will lead from the front?

With only three goals in 12 games, Füllkrug is BVB’s top scorer in the current Champions League season. Four Madrid stars – Rodrygo, Vinícius Júnior, Joselu and Bellingham – have all scored more so the question is, will Dortmund be able to find a solution in front of goal without a classic talisman up front when things get tight? Dortmund have had 12 different scorers in the competition this season to Madrid’s eight so perhaps a widespread goal threat might work to their advantage.

Real Madrid vs Dortmund previous meetings

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