Real Madrid prepare for Champions League formality

Madrid, March 17: Real Madrid face the formality of the return leg of their last 16 Champions League football tie against Schalke 04 Tuesday night.

Madrid’s 6-1 thrashing of the Germans away from home three weeks ago means there is no doubt about which of the two sides will progress into the draw for the last eight. The only question that remains is what side Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will field, reports Xinhua.

The fact that Madrid entertain Barcelona in what could be the decisive game for the destiny of the Primera Liga title this coming Sunday will influence Ancelotti’ s selection and he has the luxury of being able to rest key players ahead of that match.

Iker Casillas will play in goal and one player who looks likely to start is Cristiano Ronaldo, who needs just two goals in order to overtake Puskas in fourth place in the all time list of Real Madrid’s top goal scorers.

Ronaldo has so far scored 240 goals for Real Madrid and needs two more to draw level with the legendary Hungarian’s tally of 242.

Ronaldo is also chasing the title of the top scorer in this season’s Champions League and the match against the German side is a good chance for him to add to his total of 11 goals in Europe this season. Ronaldo has one more than Zlatan Ibrahimovich and three more than Leo Messi, who missed a large part of the group stage through injury.

The match should give a chance to some of Real Madrid’ s younger players to get some minutes on the pitch and defender Nacho Gonzalez along with forwards Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez could find himself in the starting 11.

Jese enjoyed a successful run in the first team while Ronaldo was suspended for three league matches and is one of the most popular youngsters at the club.

Meanwhile with the result of the tie not in doubt, Real Madrid have reduced ticket prices to ensure a packed house for a game where goals look to be guaranteed.

IANS