With José Mourinho of a mind to rest some weary Real Madrid CF stars for the visit of GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Krunoslav Jurčić said his side "expect to to get our first point" in Group D.
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José Mourinho may rotate some of his more weary Real Madrid CF players for the Group D game against GNK Dinamo Zagreb, with visiting coach Krunoslav Jurčić eager for his side to pick up a first UEFA Champions League point in Spain.
Coach José Mourinho
We need one point more to advance as group winners and that is what we have in mind right now. That said, we felt like we were favourites last season and we know what happened in the semi-finals [losing 3-1 on aggregate to FC Barcelona].
My players don't know the starting lineup yet but in the last four matches the player who came to the press conference with me [in this case, Nuri Şahin] then started. I have to make some changes to my team because some of the players are very tired, but Lass [Diarra] can play in every position and will play tomorrow.
Saturday: Valencia CF 2-3 Real Madrid (Soldado 75 83; Benzema 20, Ramos 72, Ronaldo 79)
Casillas; Arbeloa (Albiol 51), Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso, Diarra (Granero 86); Özil, Benzema (Higuaín 73), Ronaldo
• Madrid have won their last 11 matches in all competitions. Saturday's fixture was Mourinho's 50th Liga game in charge of the club.
Nuri Şahin, a summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, is in line for his first start for the club while Fábio Coentrão is available after missing out with a thigh complaint on Saturday. Álvaro Arbeloa (hamstring) and Marcelo (thigh) have joined Kaká (calf), Ángel Di María (hamstring) and Ricardo Carvalho (back) on the injury list.
Coach Krunoslav Jurčić
We are up against the best team in the world, but we are here to honour our shirt. We know it will be tough but we expect to to get our first point in the Champions League. We have great players who have played a lot of important matches in great stadiums. I don't think that the Santiago Bernabéu is going to overawe them.
We are back in the Champions League after 12 years and it has been like going to university for us. Now we want to pass our exams to come back with more options some day. We are not going to play attacking football or score a lot of goals in Madrid. My players will do their best and will look to score. We had plenty of chances to score in the home match [a 1-0 defeat]. I hope we will be luckier this time.
Friday: RNK Split 0-3 Dinamo Zagreb (Beqiraj 67, Ibáñez 77, Vida 81)
Lončarić; Leko (Vida 46), Cufré, Tonel, Ibáñez; Calello, Badelj, Alispahić, Kovačić; Beqiraj (Rukavina 85), Krstanović (Ademi 80)
• Domagoj Vida scored his maiden goal for Dinamo as Jurčić's team kept their 11th clean sheet in the league this season. They have conceded just five goals in 15 top-flight games.
Josip Šimunić is out with a calf problem, while Ivan Kelava (knee) and Šime Vrsaljko (hamstring) also missed Friday's game, but Mehmed Alispahić and Tonel returned from respective arm and hamstring injuries. Mathias Chago (back) and Igor Bišćan (left ankle) are yet to play this season.
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.