UEFA Champions League Preview: Copenhagen v Real Madrid
By Football News
Real Madrid will be out to end the UEFA Champions League group stage unbeaten when they play at Copenhagen on Tuesday.
The visitors to Parken head into the game having already secured top spot in Group B.
Real have dropped just two points, but could well face a stern test against a side that has not tasted defeat in either of their previous home games in the competition.
A 3-1 defeat at Juventus ended Copenhagen’s hopes of reaching the last 16, but the Danish outfit can still earn a place in the UEFA Europa League.
A win would guarantee third spot in the group for Copenhagen, while a draw would be enough if Galatasaray are beaten at home by Juventus.
Copenhagen will have to improve markedly on their performance at the Bernabeu in October, when Real cruised to a 4-0 victory, if they are to enjoy success.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria both scored twice in that game, and the former is in line to torment Copenhagen again as he prepares to make his return from injury.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed the Portugal captain is available to face Copenhagen after a brief absence with a thigh problem.
Yet it remains to be seen whether Ancelotti will opt to name a full-strength side, with away league games at Osasuna and Valencia coming hot on the heels of Tuesday's match.
Although Ronaldo has recovered from his injury, Ancelotti is still without the services of a number of first-team players.
Defenders Raphael Varane (knee) and Fabio Coentrao (thigh) are both sidelined together with midfielder Sami Khedira, who is expected to miss the majority of the season after damaging knee ligaments.
Sergio Ramos also misses out for Real, the Spain defender suspended after being sent off in the 4-1 win over Galatasaray last month.
Should Real score three or more goals, they will set a new record for the best goals return in the group stage.
Ancelotti's men have managed 18 so far, with Manchester United and Barcelona having previously scored 20.