MADRID, Sporting Alert – Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has named his squad of 19 players for Tuesday’s Champions League matchday 3 Group F game against Legia Warsaw at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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Legia are yet to get off the mark in the points column, following defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Sporting CP in the opening two games in the group stage.
Despite being the heavy favourites from the moment the draw was released, Zidane opted to select a very strong squad of players for the clash, urging his players not to take the Polish side as inferior.
“Everyone has their own opinions. The two teams are playing in the same competition and if we’re playing in the same competition we’re at the same level,” the Frenchman told a pre-match press conference ahead of the clash.
“The game is going to be 50-50 and we must start the match very well, make it difficult for them from the off.
“We’re in the same competition which suggests there’s no difference between us, even though many people say there’s a big difference. If there’s a difference you have to show it on the pitch.”
Among the players named in Zidane’s 19 man squad are Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 98 European club goals, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Alvaro Morata, Isco, Pepe, Toni Kross, Marcelo, James Rodriguez and Raphael Varane.
However, leading centre-back Sergio Ramos and midfield playmaker Luka Modric are both missing with knee injuries.
Real Madrid head into the game on good form from their last outing, after ending a run of four consecutive draws with a 6-1 away thrashing of Real Betis in the Spanish La Liga on Saturday.
Zidane’s side has now extended its unbeaten streak to 22 matches in all competitions and will face a Legia Warsaw team that has lost five of its last seven.
Real Madrid have also won 27 of their last 31 Champions League matches at home, including seven in a row.
REAL MADRID SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Rubén Yáñez.
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Kovacic, Asensio and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Morata.