LNTUP

Real Madrid vs Apoel Nicosia Match Preview

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UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid vs Apoel Nicosia Match Preview

Real Madrid begin their title defence on Wednesday when they host Apoel Nicosia at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The Spanish giants have now lifted the trophy in successive occasions and will be hoping to regain their form after an unsatisfactory start to their La Liga campaign.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who is still serving a 5-match domestic ban, will be returning to the pitch. The return of the Portuguese talisman to a misfiring Los Blancos side cannot come soon enough, with the forward netting a spectacular hattrick against Faroe Islands in the World Cup qualifiers. Meanwhile, Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema, who suffered a hamstring injury at the weekend.

Apoel Nicosia, who reached the last 16 of the Europa League in 2016-17, will be without midfielders George Efrem and Facundo Bertoglio as well as defender Zhivko Milanov. The Australian midfielder Tommy Oar is meanwhile not in the 25-man squad for the tournament.

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Date: Wednesday, September 13
Time: 14:45 (ET), 19:45 (BST), 20:45 (CEST), 00:15 (next day) (IST)
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
TV channel: BT Sport Extra 2 (UK), FS2 (USA), Sony Ten 1 (India)

Predicted Real Madrid XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Bale, Ronaldo.
Predicted Apoel Nicosia XI: Waterman; Vouros, Carlao, Rueda, Lago; Morais, Vinicius, Farias; Sallai, De Camargo, Ebecilio

Last meeting: Real Madrid 5-2 Apoel Nicosia (April 2012, UEFA Champions League)