By Alex Demarco
Real Madrid host Polish side Legia Warsaw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League on Tuesday night, playing their 400th match in the Europe’s top tournament – becoming the first team in history to reach that figure.
The reigning European champions will be looking to mark the occasion with a win, knowing that only three points will do in front of an expectant crowd that constantly demands free-flowing, attacking football and plenty of goals.
Real Madrid v Legia Warsaw Betting: Zidane’s men can dominate at the Bernabeu https://t.co/pLIs8odACZ
— Goal (@goal) October 17, 2016
Zinedine Zidane’s men are currently joint-top of Group F, with Borussia Dortmund, but three points against the current Polish champions could see them pull away from their German rivals and Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon.
Legia, meanwhile, are yet to pick up a point in the group and whilst that run is likely to continue in the Spanish capital, they’ll be hoping to stifle their opponents and cause an upset.
Addressing the media ahead of this fixture, Zidane warned his players of complacency, stating that the match is not a foregone conclusion.
“The match will be 50-50,” he said.
“We must start well and make it difficult for them from the off. Although a lot of people say that there are differences between the teams, we’re playing the same competition and if there is a difference we must show that out on the field”.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 17, 2016
Los Blancos come into the game off the back of their 6-1 demolition of Real Betis on Saturday, providing the team with a much-needed confidence boost, having drawn their previous four games across all competitions.
Their Polish counterparts lost their last game 3-2 against Pogon Szczecin and have secured just one victory from their past seven matches.
Key striker Nemanja Nikolic will be hoping to trouble Madrid’s backline and add to the ten goals he has scored so far this season.
Zidane will have to make do without key players Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos, whilst Colombian James Rodriguez returned to training this week and may make an appearance.
Potential Real Madrid Starting XI (4-3-3): Keylor Navas; Danilo, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo; Kroos, Kovacic, Isco; Ronaldo, Bale, Morata