Madrid hosts Dortmund to decide Group D top spot


MADRID (AP) -Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is looking forward to a "complicated and special game" against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Manchester City needs to beat Ajax to keep its slim hopes alive of reaching the knockout stages.

Madrid is coming off a 4-0 win against Zaragoza, and Mourinho said his team is starting to combine "the physical and the psychological" despite being eight points off the pace in the Spanish league.

Dortmund leads the group with seven points, one more than Madrid. Man City is on one point, two behind Ajax and in danger of failing to even qualify for the Europa League.

City manager Roberto Mancini said his team is not ready to win the competition.

"If I say we're ready to win it, we're not honest," Mancini said Monday. "In the Champions League, it's clear that incredible situations can happen in February and March. But we've been drawn in a tough group this year, like last year."

Mancini will likely field Sergio Aguero after the Argentina striker was a substitute in the 0-0 draw at West Ham on Saturday that kept his team third in the Premier League standings.

However, midfielder James Milner is in doubt because of a hamstring complaint while Joleon Lescott has a back injury.

David Silva and Jack Rodwell are also sidelined because of hamstring problems, joining right backs Micah Richards and Maicon on the sidelines.

"We need to win the next three games," Mancini said. "If we win the next three games we go through - 100 percent."

A second win for Dortmund over Madrid would all but secure qualification for the German team.

The Bundesliga champions seized top spot thanks to its 2-1 win in Dortmund but they face a different prospect in the Spanish capital, where Madrid has won its last seven European games. Madrid lost in the semifinals last season at home to Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout.

Madrid has 18 wins from 23 games at home against German opposition and just two losses, both to Bayern. Dortmund has lost five of its eight games in Spain, with its only win being a 1-0 victory at Atletico Madrid en route to winning the Champions League in 1997.

Madrid is recovering from a poor start in Spain, winning its fifth match in the past six rounds to rise to third place at the weekend.

The victory was Jose Mourinho's 100th in 133 matches with the Spanish champions, making him the fastest coach to reach that figure in the history of the club.

"We are playing well. Our performance is a complete effort, it doesn't only depend on how we are physically," Mourinho said.

Madrid midfielder Luka Modric wished his team had longer to get ready to play Dortmund.

The game in the Champions League is very important and we don't have a lot of time to prepare for it," he said. "But that isn't a reason not to win."

Madrid and Germany midfielder Sami Khedira is confident his team will top the group.

"Real Madrid and one other team will go through," he said. "As a German, if Dortmund do go through that would be great for me as I think they also deserve it."

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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