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Madrid target fifth win at Dinamo's expense

Already qualified with two games to spare, Real Madrid CF will want no let-up in their form as they take on GNK Dinamo Zagreb, who lie at the foot of Group D and are still seeking their first points.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid have won all four Group D games so far
Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid have won all four Group D games so far ©Getty Images

Already assured of a top-two finish in Group D with two games to spare, Real Madrid CF will be looking to continue their exhilarating form against a GNK Dinamo Zagreb team who lie in bottom place with no points or goals.

• When the teams met at Stadion Maksimir on 14 September, a second-half strike from Ángel Di María was enough for Madrid to get their campaign off to a winning start – despite having Marcelo sent off with 17 minutes remaining. It came at the expense of a home team playing in their first UEFA Champions League group game since 1999.

• Two weeks later a potent attacking performance saw off the challenge of AFC Ajax, Madrid's 3-0 victory achieved through goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Karim Benzema. The back-to-back meetings with Olympique Lyonnais maintained their winning streak, a 4-0 success at the Santiago Bernabéu in which former Lyon striker Benzema opened the scoring preceding a 2-0 win at Stade de Gerland, Ronaldo getting both goals.

• Dinamo followed their matchday one reverse with a 2-0 defeat away by Lyon and then went down 2-0 and 4-0 when they faced Ajax home and away. They are the only one of the 32 teams in the group stage still to score.

Previous meetings
• The 14 September meeting was the first between the sides. Madrid's only previous experience of Croatian opposition was a 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round tie against HNK Rijeka. They won 3-0 at home to rescue the situation after losing 3-1 away.

• Two of Dinamo's three previous European ties against Spanish opposition had come against Madrid's city rivals Club Atlético de Madrid. The Zagreb side lost 4-0 away in the 1965/66 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round, bowing out 5-0 on aggregate, and lost 1-0 away in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup third round which ensured a 2-1 aggregate loss.

• Dinamo's sole victory in seven matches against Liga sides, five of which they have lost, was a 2-0 home defeat of Villarreal CF in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

Team ties
• Tonel is a team-mate of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Carvalho, Fábio Coentrão and Pepe with Portugal.

• Xabi Alonso and Igor Bišćan played together in the Liverpool FC team that lifted the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League with a memorable final win against AC Milan.

• As a player, Dinamo coach Krunoslav Jurčić featured in two friendly internationals against Spain. His Croatia team lost 3-1 in Seville in May 1999 while the game in Split nine months later finished goalless.

• Jerko Leko came on as a late substitute for FC Dynamo Kyiv as they held Madrid to a 2-2 draw at home in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Leandro Cufré also faced Madrid in the same Group B campaign that season, the defender featuring in both games as AS Roma lost 4-2 away and 3-0 at home against the Merengues. He was also involved in the 2002/03 season as Roma succumbed 3-0 at home to the Spanish giants on matchday one, his debut in UEFA competition.

• Kaká struck the only goal as Brazil beat Croatia at Berlin's Olympiastadion in the 2006 FIFA World Cup group stage.

• Hamit Altıntop was in the Turkey team that beat Croatia on penalties to reach the UEFA EURO 2008 semi-finals; Josip Šimunić was in the Croatia side with Leko and Nikola Pokrivač unused substitutes.

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