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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL FIRST LEG

Venue: Westfalenstadion    Date: Wednesday 24 April    KO: 19:45 BST

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho named his starting XI for the Champions League semi-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund 24 hours early.

Mourinho, 50, named an attacking side as he aims to reach the final with his third different club.

Angel Di Maria is the only doubt as his wife had a baby on Tuesday.

“Madrid are one of those clubs where finishing second counts for nothing. So we have to reach the final and then win that,” Mourinho said.

“We will play with Diego Lopez, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo and hopefully Angel Di Maria,” he added.

Real Madrid beat Real Betis 3-1 on Saturday but midfielder Luka Modric and defender Marcelo sustained injuries. French striker Karim Benzema, who scored one goal and set up another, was also substituted late on with a leg injury.

Real met Dortmund in the group stages, with Ozil scoring a last-minute equaliser to rescue a point for Mourinho’s side from a 2-2 draw in Madrid in November, while Jurgen Klopp’s German side won 2-1 in Dortmund a month earlier.

But Mourinho put those results down to individual errors and believes his side deserve to win the Champions League.

He said: “All four goals we conceded against Dortmund in the group stage were mistakes by us. We hope we will not concede that many goals in the next games.

“I hope that my team, which I value tremendously as individual players as well as a team, will be able to convince on Wednesday and in the return leg.

“The team has great players who give everything they have and also deserve to win this competition. With a few exceptions, none of them have won this competition so far and I wish it for my team that they can win the Champions League, as they deserve to do so.”

 

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