Sebastian Kehl: Real Madrid is the favorite for Dortmund clash

Sebastian Kehl accepts Borussia Dortmund will be underdogs against Real Madrid, despite beating the club in the Champions League last season.

Dortmund overcame Real 4-3 on aggregate to secure a place in the 2012-13 final, with a 4-1 first-leg triumph at Signal Iduna Park arguably the highlight of a marvelous European campaign for Jurgen Klopp's men before their final defeat to Bayern.

Tweet Ruud van Nistelrooy!
Send your questions to Man Utd & Real Madrid legend Ruud van Nistelrooy via @Heineken using #sharethesofa on Wednesday evening

The Bundesliga giants are in contention to make another run toward the latter stages of the competition this year and will renew acquaintances with Real in the quarterfinal first leg at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

The Spanish side crushed Dortmund's neighbors, Schalke, 9-2 on aggregate in the last 16, and Dortmund heads into the game without striker Robert Lewandowski - scorer of all four goals in last term's first leg success against Real.

Kehl knows that Real will present a different proposition this time around.

"We're in excellent condition physically, but of course we know that Real are not the same side we faced last year," Kehl told Kicker. "They are the absolute favorites, together with Bayern Munich, to win the Champions League. But we showed last year that we can beat them and they won't have forgotten that."

Dortmund can at best achieve a second-placed finish in Germany's top flight but can reach the final of the DFB-Pokal by overcoming Wolfsburg in the last four in mid-April. 

Kehl insists that meeting those targets takes precedence over Dortmund's exploits in the Champions League.

"Then we would have reached all of our goals [by finish second and reaching the DFB-Pokal final]," Kehl said. "We have already gone as far as we planned in the Champions League, and all that comes next is a bonus."

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Spurs still to prove they are the real deal

      Spurs still to prove they are the real deal

      By Steve Tongue LONDON (Reuters) - It is 56 years since Tottenham Hotspur were English champions and even their most optimistic followers cannot realistically expect them to bridge a 10-point gap at the top of the table with Chelsea. For the … More »

      Reuters - 6 minutes ago
    • Ibrahimovic strikes twice to win League Cup for United

      Ibrahimovic strikes twice to win League Cup for United

      LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck twice including a late headed winner as they edged Southampton 3-2 in an absorbing League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday. With extra time looming the Swede nodded Ander Herrera's … More »

      Reuters - 24 minutes ago
    • Messi scores late, Barca tops Atletico

      Messi scores late, Barca tops Atletico

      Lionel Messi added to his impressive scoring run this season with a late winner in Barcelona's 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday, a result that vaulted the Catalan club ahead of Real Madrid in the Spanish league. Messi scored his 35th goal … More »

      AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
    • Late Zlatan winner hands Manchester United the EFL Cup and a bright spot for the Mourinho Era

      Late Zlatan winner hands Manchester United the EFL Cup and a bright spot for the Mourinho Era

      Zlatan won it for United. It was an epic in which Southampton knew that it had little to lose and that Manchester United was quite beatable on the day. While United, in turn, was acutely aware that the individual talent within its ranks could … More »

      FC Yahoo - 32 minutes ago
    • Late Rudy goal earns Hoffenheim 1-1 draw at Schalke

      Sebastian Rudy nodded in a 79th-minute equaliser on Sunday as Hoffenheim rescued a 1-1 draw at Schalke 04, a result that serves neither team in their quest for a European spot. Schalke, who are unbeaten in their past seven matches in all … More »

      Reuters - 36 minutes ago