Zinedine Zidane knows ending a club hoodoo by masterminding a Champions League win at Borussia Dortmund would go a long way towards answering Real Madrid’s critics.
The reigning Spanish and European champions have endured a rocky start to their domestic title defence and lie seven points adrift of fierce rivals Barcelona after six league games.
Real were comfortable 3-0 winners against Apoel Nicosia in their opening Champions League engagement but Dortmund will not be so easy to overcome at the Signal Iduna Park.
In fact, Real have failed to triumph in the North Rhine-Westphalia stronghold despite visiting six times.
Head coach Zidane told realmadrid.com: “We have never won here and that will be the challenge for us because we always go out and try to win. We want to play well and I want to see a good game.
“We want to try and get as far as possible. Now we are at the group stage and when we get out of it we will see what happens. Tomorrow is an important game and we want to win it.”
On being labelled as favourites for the Group H clash despite Dortmund’s home dominance over them and the current form of the Germans in the Bundesliga, Zidane said: “We live with that pressure.
“In every single game we have to prove how good we are.”
¡Listos para la Champions!
Ready for Champions League action! pic.twitter.com/cBeX0rumWl
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 25, 2017
Some onlookers have claimed there is a lack of trust among Zidane’s players, who struggled in league draws with Valencia and Levante before falling to a home defeat to Real Betis last week.
“I do not believe that because we trust in what we do,” the French coach said. “It is true that there can always seem to be doubts, if you look from the outside, and this issue arises every three days.
“That is the difficulty. Each year and every game is going to be more difficult and if we are not always at our scintillating best, things gets complicated.”
Defender Dani Carvajal added: “It’s a big, important game and everyone wants to play in it.
“The important thing is that we create chances because there will be goals.
“The team are confident and excited – we are all pushing in the same direction and are encouraged.”
Real and Dortmund were in the same group together last autumn and both fixtures ended 2-2, with the Schwarzgelben forcing a draw with a late goal on both occasions.
Attacking midfielder Mario Gotze told a pre-match press conference: “There have been some great games against Real Madrid – both at home and away.
“Real have played very well for the last two years, but it’s a new season and we are also confident.
“Statistics will not help us but we know we are strong here at home.”
👋 19:09 Uhr – Willkommen in Dortmund, @realmadrid! #BVBRMA pic.twitter.com/GlTzUgkyjl
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) September 25, 2017