Cypriot club Apoel Nicosia travel to Spain to face giants Real Madrid for the two teams' second leg Champions League quarter-final clash at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Madrid have a 3-0 lead from the first leg.
Real Madrid are so far the best team in the Champions League (according to statistics), as the Spanish side have not lost a single game in the competition so far. After trashing Apoel in their own backyard, Real Madrid are easily the favourites in this game. Also, Jose Mourinho's side have managed to find the nets 13 times in their last 14 European League fixtures. So this game is like a walk in the park for the talented Spanish side.
Real boss Jose Mourinho says his side will go into this game with more or less the same lineup and attitude as last time.
"There won't be many changes in the line-up," said Mourinho, "The only one who played in Pamplona and isn't on the list is (Alvaro) Arbeloa. The rest have been called up to play. Pepe is here with me because he will play," Skysports reported Mourinho as saying.
However, he believes they should not under estimate their opponent despite having a very good advantage over them.
"It is a Champions League match and we have a very good aggregate. Very few believe Apoel will score four goals at the Bernabeu, but football is football and we must respect the crowd expecting a good football match, and we must especially respect our opponent," he added.
Meanwhile, Apoel, who have done well to reach this far in the Champions League, will certainly not be giving up without putting up a hard fight. Although they were not able to stop the Spaniards from thumping them with three goals in the first half, the Cypriot club will definitely be looking to put up more resistance in this match. However, injuries to Marco Oliveira (knee problem) and Ivan Trickovski (broken hand) will deliver a big blow to Apoel, who will be trying to exit the Champions League with some degree of respect.
"Madrid are in the semi-finals - there's no question about that. The second leg will be harder (than the game in Nicosia). We need to try to exit the competition in the best possible fashion. Our campaign will forever be written in gold in the history of not just our club but Cypriot football also," Apoel manager Ivan Jovanovic told Cyprus Mail, according to a Skysports report.
Real Madrid : Casilla; Altintop, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Granero, Khedira; Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo; Benzama
APOEL : Chiotis; Poursaitidis, Kaka, Jorge, Boaventura; Morais, Pint; Charalambidis, Marcinho, Manduca; Ailton (doubtful)