Match Preview and Team News
Bernd Schuster is hoping that Real Madrid's excellent Champion's League home form will see them overturn a 2-1 deficit in tonights second leg knockout tie against AS Roma at the Bernabeu this evening.
Real Madrid enjoy playing European opposition in the Spanish capital and have recorded three home wins out of three in the Champions League this season. The Madrid coach said, in a rare display of levity, that "I am enjoying it so much and I want to enjoy it even more. I'll be disappointed not to go through."
In spite of losing in Rome a fortnight ago, Schuster is confident that his side will progress and that he will be happy for his side to play in a similar fashion as they did in the first leg as long as they are more effective in front of goal. Schuster said "We were short in terms of our finishing and lost by the smallest of margins. We need good movement of the ball and for every player to know his position. In the first leg we saw a great match and I hope Wednesday will be the same."
Real Madrid have gone out of the competition at this stage for the last three seasons and their task has been made all the more difficult this time around due to absences through injury to Ruud van Nistelrooy, Christoph Metzelder, Wesley Sneijder's and Javier Saviola.
It had been hoped that Van Nistelrooy would recover from an ankle injury in time to face Roma, but it is now feared he will be out for another week at least and will miss the weekend's La Liga clash with Espanyol.
Schuster's plans for this evening have also been hampered by the absence of Sergio Ramos, who misses the match through suspension. Schuster, however, remains upbeat and said "When one player isn't available, another one is. It's true I would have liked to have been able to count on Sergio Ramos for a game like this, but it's not to be. I will have all the confidence in the world in the team I put out against Roma."
Real Madrid go in to tonights game on the back of a 3-2 league win at Recreativo Huelva that ended a run of three straight defeats. Robinho was the star of the victory in Andalucia but Schuster has warned that tonight "I don't think a great display from Robinho is going to be enough. The team will have to function perfectly. The side who make the fewer mistakes are going to qualify for the next round. Robinho, along with everyone else, will need to be at their best."
Roma's record at the Bernabeu is mixed, having registered a win, a draw and a defeat on their last three trips to Real's home ground. The visitors be without defender Marco Cassetti who has a dislocated shoulder, but it is reported that Juan has overcome a foot injury and should start for Roma this evening.