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Lopetegui: "This is the Champions League and it'll be a really tough game"

NEWS | 01/10/2018 | Alberto Navarro (Moscow)

"It's an incredible setting and our opponents wanted the game to be staged here and so the atmosphere is sure to be excellent", commented the Whites' boss in the media room at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Julen Lopetegui fielded questions from the press ahead of the encounter between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid (Wednesday, 9pm), with the Whites' coach previewing the match in the following terms: "We've got to continue on in the same vein: go out in every match to win and try to get as many points as possible. The setting is incredible and our opponents wanted the game to be staged here and so the atmosphere is sure to be excellent. We're up against some fine players and it'll be an extremely challenging game because this is the Champions League".

"The players' mindset is excellent and we're really raring and excited for the game to get under way. We face a strong side on their own patch and there's no bigger motivation than that. When the Champions League hymn sounds, there's no better motivator. We're confident that we'll be able to achieve our target. If they're thinking that this is the best time to play us, we'll have to see about that tomorrow".

CSKA
"It'll be a really tough game against a side of real pedigree. We'll overcome the challenges with the players that we've got available. We're up against a side that are on a really good run and who managed to beat Viktoria Plzen. We'll have to see how they set up tomorrow. They usually go with a five-man backline but they're capable of switching to four at the back. They've got some top players, the likes of [Alán] Dzagoev, and tomorrow they're sure to put in a big performance".

Ramos's absence
"He's played 125 minutes more than anyone else and I've decided to rest him for this one. There are times when you have to rest, so as to be able to feature in the other games. His hamstrings will thank him for the rest".
 

The players' mindset is excellent and we're really raring and excited for the game to get under way.

"We improved as the game went on in the derby and performed better than Atlético. We showed that we've got the options to cope with difficult situations. We want to create as many chances as possible and improve. Tomorrow is another opportunity to improve when faced with adversity".

Ceballos
"He's a lad that we like and who really helps us as a team. He's responding to the faith we're placing in him in the best possible fashion by playing some sublime football. We need to have options for every moment of the game, but without compromising our outlook and playing style".
 
A special game
"It's a special one because we face one of the biggest teams in Russian football in an impressive setting. We're 100% focused on winning the game".

Odriozola and Vinicius Jr.
"We've got the utmost faith in Odriozola. He was out injured and he got injured again on his return. When it's his time to play, he'll play. I fully trust in every member of the squad. Vinicius is a young player, he's making progress and we'll use him when we think we need to". 

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