The official website for European football

Selection doubts dog García Remón

Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 21.45CET
Iván Helguera's best position and Guti's fitness are two dilemmas for Real Madrid CF as FC Dynamo Kyiv visit.

Tournament statistics

Real MadridDynamo Kyiv

Goals scored12
Attempts on target50
Attempts off target49
Fouls committed141
Yellow cards14
Red cards1

Media Services

Published: Monday 18 October 2004, 21.45CET

Selection doubts dog García Remón

Iván Helguera's best position and Guti's fitness are two dilemmas for Real Madrid CF as FC Dynamo Kyiv visit.

By Andy Hall in Madrid

Where to play Iván Helguera was just one of the questions occupying Real Madrid CF coach Mariano García Remón ahead of the visit of FC Dynamo Kyiv.

Decision not made
With centre-back Walter Samuel suspended and David Beckham nursing a cracked rib, García Remón must decide whether to retain the versatile Helguera in the role of midfield pivot or restore him to his favoured position in central defence. "Helguera can play in central defence or midfield," said the coach. "We haven't decided where he will play tomorrow - that will depend on how the rest of the squad is shaping up.

Guti recovered
"Obviously being without Walter is a problem," he continued, "but we have other players who are more than capable of filling in. Francisco Pavón gave an excellent performance on Saturday so I'm not too worried." At the same time, García Remón should be able to welcome back Guti following his recovery after hurting his thigh in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Real Betis Balompie.

'Important player'
"Guti trained today and I'm confident that he will be available for tomorrow," he told "He is a very important player for us at the moment and that's why it's essential that he is fit. Perhaps this match could be decided by whether he is 100 per cent or not."

Difficult evening
García Remón does have Santiago Solari and Borja Fernández available again, while two youth-team players, midfielder Javi García and right-back Álvaro Arbeloa, are in the squad. The latter made his debut as a substitute against Betis. However Madrid line up, they know they face a difficult evening against the Group B leaders.

'Huge effort' required
Luís Figo said: "We know that they play with three centre-backs, with a sweeper in front who man-marks the rival attackers, and two pacy forwards." García Remón added: "They are a very quick side who always create plenty of chances and we will need to put in a huge effort to beat them."

No fear
As for Dynamo coach Joszef Szabo, his only absentee is suspended forward Maris Verpakovskis. His message was that his team would show no fear in the Santiago Bernabéu. "I always have and always will have the greatest respect for Real Madrid but that does not mean that we should be afraid of them, we have nothing to fear," he said. "We're treating this tie the same as we have the others - the team will be going out to show their character, that they know how to play football and will try to win the match."

Good run
Dynamo, who took a step towards the Ukrainian Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 first-leg win against FC Volyn Lutsk at the weekend, have never won at the Bernabéu but their last two visits have ended in draws. Szabo added: "We had a tough match at the weekend but so did Madrid. We have been enjoying a good run and our players will be going out to show everything they have. After just two games, it's difficult to evaluate our team's situation compared to Madrid at this moment or to say who will emerge from our group."

'Strange situation'
While Dynamo lead the section with six points from two matches, Madrid are tied on three points with Bayer 04 Leverkusen after a win and a defeat. Figo said: "It's a strange situation for us but we are doing the best we can. We must keep on working hard and keep calm about our prospects. When the results start coming our way then I'm sure we will feel more comfortable."

Last updated: 19/10/04 12.30CET