No competition is more important for Real Madrid than the Champions League, and the squad will hope to ease recent doubts about their winning mindset when they hosts Schalke at the Santiago Bernabeu holding a 2-0 first-leg advantage.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti has acknowledged that Real’s slump in form this year is confusing, but believes he knows how to fix it.
Real’s most attacking lineup of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale has gone from scoring an average of 2.6 goals per match in a trophy-laden 2014 that saw the team notch up a 22-game winning streak, to just 1.3 so far this year.
Having been knocked out of the Copa del Rey and surrendered its domestic league lead to Barcelona, the 10-times European Champion is out to be the first team in 25 years to win back-to-back Champions League titles.
And the next step is to advance past the German team to the quarter finals.
Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo has also been able to welcome back a key player after a long period out recovering from muscle injury.
Leon Goretzka was a standout player for Schalke in the second half of last season, playing a vital role in the team’s qualification for Europe.
He came on in the 55th minute for his team’s 3-1 win against Hoffenheim on Saturday and now hopes to play at the Bernabeu.
Last year Schalke met Madrid at the same stage in the competition and came away bruised by a 9-2 aggregate trouncing.
Credit : Fox Sports
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