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Previa Real Madrid - Legia Varsovia

The Bernabéu plays host to Real Madrid's 400th European Cup fixture with Legia Warszawa the visitors

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NEWS | 18/10/2016

Real Madrid will be looking to claim another group-stage triumph as they play host to the Polish outfit (8:45pm CEST).
Real Madrid's victory over Betis saw the Whites evidence all of their considerable potential and if anyone held any doubts about Zinedine Zidane's side, these were blown away by the performance at the Benito Villamarín. The next step is to now back that display up in the Champions League, as Europe's elite club competition returns to the Santiago Bernabéu with this Matchday 3 group stage clash. The Whites welcome Legia Warszawa in the sides' first-ever competitive meeting in an encounter that marks Real Madrid's 400th European Cup fixture.

Currently sitting joint-top of Group F with Borussia Dortmund, the madridistas go in search of another victory in their quest to hold on to top spot. The hosts' record in Champions League fixtures at the Bernabéu certainly provides reason for optimism: seven straight wins and a 31-game run of having found the net. However, the Whites are aware that they'll have to be at their best to overcome the Polish outfit. As Zidane warned in the build-up, "We must start well and make it difficult for them from the off. Both teams are playing in the same competition and if there is a difference between us, we must show it out on the pitch".

Squad list
The Whites' coach has named a 19-man squad for the clash, with the most notable item of team news being the return of James Rodríguez. Another man who is also set to feature is the competition's all-time leading goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward has got his name on the scoresheet in the first two matchdays of this season's Champions League campaign and will be looking to continue to make all the difference here.


As for the reigning Polish champions, they head to the Bernabéu in search of their first points in this season's Champions League. Up until now, the visitors have succumbed to two defeats, against Borussia Dortmund (0-6) and Sporting CP (2-0), with the latter fixture marking coach Jacek Magiera's first game in charge. In terms of individual players, Nemanja Nikolic, who has 10 goals to his name so far this term, represents the visitors' biggest threat.  

Previous meetings
Despite having never previously faced Legia, Real Madrid have come up against Polish opposition in Europe on a total of six occasions and the record really couldn't be much better: a clean sweep of wins, with 12 goals for and four against. The last clash came back in 2004, against Wisła Kraków, in a game that Zidane himself featured in. Today sees the Bernabéu play host to this first-ever fixture between the sides in which only three points will do as Real Madrid bid to edge closer to the round of 16.