Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho serves the first game of a three-match touchline ban against Dinamo Zagreb Wednesday. REUTERS

Real Madrid begin their quest for a tenth European title with a tricky away tie at Dinamo Zagreb Wednesday.

It has been almost a decade since Real appeared in the final of Europe's elite competition and Jose Mourinho will be aware of the pressure the club's history places on his side.

Mourinho will begin his three-match touchline ban in Zagreb, with the Croatian team's coach adamant the La Liga side could be unsettled by their manager's absence.

"It could make a difference because he has a huge influence on the team and takes an active part in the game with his game plan and instructions," Kruno Jurcic told reporters ahead of the Group D match.

"He is a leader and leaders are hard to replace so his exclusion might put some wind into our sails. This is the kind of game every coach lives for."

Dinamo defender Igor Biscan is side-lined after undergoing ankle surgery, with fellow defender Leandro Cufre also absent with adductor problems.

Madrid are without Kaka as he recovers from a bruised heel, while Nuri Sahin (knee) and Hamit Altintop (back) are also absent.

Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb 1 - 3 Real Madrid