Apoel Nicosia vs Real Madrid : UEFA Champions League Match Preview

0 34

The defending Champions Real Madrid can qualify for the knockout phase of the 2017/18 Champions League with a win at APOEL Nicosia on matchday five.

APOEL are at the foot of the table with 2 points from the pair of 1-1 draw against Dortmund. Meantime, they lost both first leg fixtures against Real Madrid and Tottenham by 0-3 margins. Interestingly, they can still qualify for the knockout phase with wins in the remaining two fixtures, even-though it is unlikely. But, if they manage to pull out the surprise, they need Madrid to lose their remaining two games and Dortmund must win in one of their two.

Real Madrid are the team with more realistic chance to finish as runners up to Spurs this term. They have 7 points and three more points on Tuesday will send them through to the round of 16. Besides, Zidane and co. cannot afford another sloppy display here as they managed just 1 point from their last three away games in all competitions.

Match Details :

Date: Tuesday, 21st November 2017
Time: 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Neo GSP Stadium (Nicosia).
TV Broadcast : BT Sport Extra(UK) / Sony Ten Network (India)
Live Streaming Link : www.Ronaldo7.net

Team News :

Apoel Nicosia :

George Donis looks set to have a full team to pick from for this match at home to the two-time holders. There are very real questions about whether or not APOEL could score against Real Madrid, and those are tough answers to give. But they can frustrate Los Blancos for quite some time, and center back Giorgos Merkis is a big reason for that.

Real Madrid :

Zinedine Zidane will be without goalkeeper Keylor Navas once again, as well as winger Gareth Bale. Meanwhile, center midfielder Mateo Kovacic is closing in on a return. Sergio Ramos broke his nose and went off at half time, so he might not be risked here.

Predicted Lineups :

Apoel Nicosia likely XI :

Waterman;Vouros, Rueda, Merkis, Lago,Vinicius, Morais;Zahid, Ebecilio, Aloneftis;de Camargo.

Real Madrid likely XI :

Casilla;Hakimi, Varane, Nacho, Theo;Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco;Ronaldo, Benzema

APOEL Nicosia vs Real Madrid: Head-to-head

This is the second time that the teams are meeting in a Champions League double legged fixture. APOEL lost all three fixtures so far, the previous two back in 2011/12 round of 16 tie on a 2-8 aggregate.

APOEL Nicosia vs Real Madrid: Prediction

On paper, these are easy pickings for Madrid. But the misfiring Ronaldo and Benzema must sharpen their shooting boots if this has to turn out into an impressive win as expected. However, we cannot bank on a team like APOEL to do anything substantial here. Therefore, bets have to be chosen on the basis of the weightage of the odds.