Like domestic rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04 approach the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie heavily in arrears following a sizeable home defeat.
A 6-1 loss to Real Madrid CF last month means the Royal Blues are essentially playing for pride against a side 30 games unbeaten, so coach Jens Keller wants his team to show the same tenacity Leverkusen displayed in narrowly succumbing 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain last week. Keller's counterpart, Carlo Ancelotti, will make changes, but recognises the value of maintaining Madrid's "good form" heading into this weekend's showdown with FC Barcelona.
Carlo Ancelotti, coach
We will make some changes because some players are physically tired. The Málaga match was tough and we had to travel.
I have coached many teams with a lot of quality, so it's hard to say which one is the best. This squad has everything; it has character, experience and youth. I'm doing the best I can for this club and I'm very happy to be here.
In the Liga, we have a small lead, but it's different in the UEFA Champions League or Copa del Rey. We have to play a good game tomorrow because it's an important UEFA Champions League match and we must keep our good form going. We have to respect our work, the competition and our opponents.
Saturday: Málaga CF 0-1 Madrid (Ronaldo 23)
Diego López; Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Modrić (Illarramendi 90), Alonso, Isco (Jesé 63); Bale, Benzema (Di María 32), Ronaldo.
• Madrid are 30 games unbeaten, winning 25, the longest run without defeat in Ancelotti's coaching career. They have won 18 of their last 20 matches.
Isco, Jesé, Álvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo will all start against Schalke but Ancelotti says Karim Benzema is out with a thigh injury sustained at the weekend. He is confident the striker will return for Sunday's Liga meeting with Barcelona.
Jens Keller, coach
We have a young team and this match can be a good experience. We have to do better than in the home game. We must be more compact and not let our opponents grow. We are going to try to do our best. Maybe players with small problems or injuries won't play. I don't have many options, but we will try to play our young players.
Real Madrid and Bayern München are the strongest teams in the world. Bayer Leverkusen played bravely against PSG in Paris and we want to do the same. We must be realistic – Real Madrid are an amazing team and when you lose 6-1 in the first leg it is not easy to reach the quarter-finals.
Friday: FC Augsburg 1-2 Schalke (Werner 5; Huntelaar 33 49)
Fährmann; Hoogland, Höwedes, Matip, Kolasinac; Boateng, Neustädter, Obasi (Ayhan 46), Draxler (Meyer 77), Goretzka; Huntelaar (Szalai 90).
• Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored eight goals in nine games since returning from long-term injury. Schalke have lost just one of their last ten Bundesliga fixtures.
Christian Fuchs underwent surgery on his right knee on 11 March, while Felipe Santana has not played since the first leg because of a thigh problem. Jefferson Farfán has missed the last two games with a knee injury.
• Madrid have lost only twice on the 25 occasions they have hosted German visitors in the Spanish capital, recording 19 wins and four draws.
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