Borussia Dortmund should have nothing to fear when they entertain Real Madrid CF at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK on Tuesday, in one of the biggest clashes of this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage (kick-off 20:45CEST/18:45GMT).
Is there a better team in Europe right now?
Since their shock defeat to promoted RB Leipzig on Matchday 2, Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund have been running riot. It began in the Champions League a fortnight ago, with a 6-0 demolition of Polish champions Legia Warszawa. Six different players got on the scoresheet as the 1997 winners claimed their biggest ever away victory in UEFA competition.
Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's most recent victory, a 3-1 win over Freiburg:
Three days later, lightning struck twice as they hit SV Darmstadt 98 for six in the Bundesliga. Gonzalo Castro scored a brace, while USMNT sensation Christian Pulisic grabbed a goal and two assists on the eve of his 18th birthday. Twelve goals for and none against in two outings.
Three days after that, VfL Wolfsburg were expected to provide a sterner test at the Volkswagen Arena, but they too were powerless to contain the Black-and-Yellow tornado. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang notched his third and fourth goals of the campaign as Dortmund produced another breathless performance, romping to a 5-1 win.
A 3-1 victory over SC Freiburg followed, with Aubameyang making it 59 goals in his first 100 games for Dortmund (four more than a certain Robert Lewandowski). BVB also equalled a club record by going 24 games unbeaten on home soil.
Now they're eyeing up number 25, and a fourth consecutive home win over Real Madrid, the 11-time European champions. In their most recent meeting at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, in April 2014, Marco Reus grabbed a brace as Dortmund won 2-0, although it wasn't enough to prevent Real progressing to the semi-finals on aggregate, after a 3-0 victory at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
And who could forget the incredible semi-final clash of April 2013? Lewandowski scored all four of Dortmund's goals in a 4-1 dismissal of Real, before Jürgen Klopp's side held on in the Spanish capital to set up an all-Bundesliga final clash with FC Bayern München.
Recent history is on Dortmund's side, then, and they come into Tuesday's clash on blistering form – which cannot necessarily be said of their opponents. After a solid start to the campaign – victory over Sevilla FC in the UEFA Super Cup and four straight wins in La Liga – Zinedine Zidane's charges have stuttered in recent weeks.
They pulled off a great escape in their Champions League opener against Sporting Clube de Portugal – winning 2-1 thanks to late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata – and have drawn their last two Liga outings against Villarreal CF and UD Las Palmas – strangely enough, two teams who also play in yellow.
In five Champions League meetings, Dortmund have never lost to Real on home soil, winning three and drawing two. Thomas Tuchel will be determined to keep that unbeaten streak going against the reigning European champions, and put BVB firmly in the driving seat in Group F.