Real Madrid have not tasted defeat in the ongoing Champions league so far, and they should not have any problems in getting past Legia Warsaw at the Polish Army Stadium on Wednesday. Real Madrid can clinch their round of 16 berth with three points -- depending on other fixtures -- while their opponents will hope to script their first win in the competition and stun Zinedine ZIdane's team.
The Spanish giants have been habituated to playing in front of full crowds, but this match is not going to witness the same. They will have to face Legia Warsaw behind closed doors after massive crowd trouble in the Polish team's match against Borussia Dortmund mid-September. Zidane feels that nothing changes even when they are playing without any spectators as he wants to maintain the same level of focus as playing with other teams.
"It'll likely be a bit of a different game, with it being played behind closed doors, but it doesn't alter anything for us. We know how important this game is and for my players, who are professionals, it doesn't change anything. We'll have to be focused, and with it being a Champions League game, I don't think there'll be any issues with the players' motivation. It doesn't give us any advantage, I prefer to always play in front of a crowd because that's what football is all about," Real's official website quoted Zidane as saying.
They cannot think too much about the 'empty stadium' situation, and rather focus on the game at hand. So far, Real have been brilliant in the La Liga and the CL. With strong depth in their squad, one will not be surprised if Zidane makes some changes for the game.
Their offensive front has been impressive with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, but players like Alvaro Morata have always stood up and counted when given some good playing time. In the defensive front, they will miss Sergio Ramos and Pepe, who are expected to be replaced by Rafael Varane and Nacho. Real are also going to be without Luka Modric and Casemiro in the midfield as well.
Despite some of the stars missing, Real are going to be a constant threat throughout the match. Their style of play has always been entertaining, and when they get their fluid game going, they can defeat any team in the competition.
Legia Warsaw does not have fond memories of their last match against Real Madrid, who thrashed them 5-1 in their encounter last month. Legia might have learned some hard lessons from their game, and one hopes that they have come up with a solid plan to stop the stars of Real Madrid from taking easy three points, which is not going to simple by any stretch of imagination.
Though Legia Warsaw might be playing behind closed doors, which is a pity, this is one of their biggest games in the last few years. To be fair, looking at Real's current form, where they have scored 24 goals in their last five matches, the home team should be even happy with a draw in their turf.
Where to watch live
Legia Warsaw vs Real Madrid is scheduled to kick off at 7.45pm GMT (8.45pm CET, 3.45pm ET, 1.15am IST) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
Where to watch live
India: TV: Ten 1. Live streaming: ten sports live
Spain: TV: Bein Sports.
Poland: TV: TVP1
UK: TV: BT Sport ESPN. Live streaming: BT Sport live
USA: TV:. Live streaming: Foxsoccer2go.
Thailand, Middle East: TV: BeIN Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.