Beating Madrid harder this year, admits Klopp
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side will face a stronger Real Madrid side in their Champions League quarter-final than the one they dumped out in the semi-finals of last year's competition.
The Germans clung onto a 4-1 first leg lead to progress to the Wembley final against Bayern Munich 4-3 on aggregate, but have suffered to recreate the same form this season due a series of injuries to key players.
Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four of his side's goals in that tie, is also suspended for the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday and Klopp thinks the addition of Gareth Bale to Madrid's arsenal makes Dortmund's task even more difficult this time round.
"Real Madrid have become a more flexible team this year. In my opinion they are better," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"Luka Modric is in top form and the connection between Bale and (Angel) di Maria is incredible in terms of rhythm and speed. For that alone Madrid are better than last year."
Lewandowski's absence could mean a start for Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang in an unfamiliar role up front and Klopp is hoping to take advantage of the Gabonese's pace on the counter-attack.
"We know we have lost Lewandowski and that is a shame for us. To play without a number nine is not so dramatic. Tomorrow we will not dominate the ball, but we can be decisive in one-on-one situations.
"We have gained pace in the team from last year and if they leave us spaces we can inflict damage.
"We are used to not being favourites. If we lose it will not be a catastrophe. Few teams can say they have done what we have in these last 10 years."
On top of Lewandowski, the visitors will also be without the injured Neven Subotic, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Marcel Schmelzer, Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender.