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Malmö on a mission to stifle Madrid's Ronaldo

Åge Hareide wants his Malmö team to isolate Cristiano Ronaldo "and get him facing the wrong way" as the Swedish side bid for a major Group A upset against Real Madrid.

Malmö in training for their encounter with Cristiano Ronaldo
Malmö in training for their encounter with Cristiano Ronaldo ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Åge Hareide has a plan to rein in Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Ronaldo on 321 Madrid goals, two behind Raúl González's all-time club record
  • Madrid without Gareth Bale, James Rodríguez, Pepe and Sergio Ramos
  • Malmö fifth in Swedish top flight, nine points adrift of top
  • Rafael Benítez confident the goals will come for Madrid and Ronaldo

Possible lineups
Malmö
:
Wiland; Tinnerholm, Bengtsson, Árnason, Carvalho, Yotún; Lewicki, Adu, Berget; Djurdjić, Rosenberg.
Out: Molins (ankle), Azinovic (knee)
Doubtful: Mehmeti (Ankle)

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Modrić; Isco, Kovačić, Ronaldo; Benzema.
Out
: James Rodríguez (thigh), Bale (calf), Pepe (muscle), Danilo (foot), Sergio Ramos (shoulder)

Åge Hareide, Malmö coach
Cristiano Ronaldo is very strong and very fast. I have seen a video of him doing a zig-zag race against a Spanish sprinter – the sprinter did not stand a chance. He is extremely fast the first couple of metres. He also shoots really well with both feet, so maybe he is the most complete player in the world. We have to isolate him and get him facing the wrong way.

A draw would be a very good result for us. But our best chance is if Madrid maybe think the three points are already theirs and they play a couple of percent off their best. Maybe the crowd will help too; they are used to big crowds but here the fans are so close. For us, it is important not to be too passive. If we start passively, it is difficult to turn that around.

©Getty Images

Rafael Benítez, Madrid coach
We played well against Málaga, like we have done in several games [recently]. Yes, we may not be scoring a lot but we are creating chances. We have to continue playing as we have been doing. We have been doing some good things but we need to score when we get the chances.

It is my job to support the players and the team. We have set up a goal for [Karim] Benzema to trigger him, though with Cristiano Ronaldo there is no need. He is always hungry to score but maybe we need to be less dependent on Benzema and Ronaldo.

We have to respect all teams. We will be in trouble if we don't respect them. Malmö are a team that have qualified for the competition and so they have quality. They will bring a lot of energy and we have to be ready for that.

Weekend results
Halmstad 0-0 Malmö
Fifth-placed Allsvenskan champions Malmö are nine points shy of joint leaders IFK Göteborg and IFK Norrköping after being held by relegation-threatened Halmstad.

Real Madrid 0-0 Málaga
Cristiano Ronaldo is still waiting for his 500th career goal, having 14 shots in total as Madrid dominated in vain.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Malmö: DWWLDW
Real Madrid: DWWWWW

Reporter's view: Sujay Dutt (@UEFAcomSujayD)
Malmö will be boosted by the return of Rasmus Bengtsson. Only days ago such a scenario seemed highly unlikely after the central defender was carried off with a suspected broken ankle. Luckily it was not as serious as feared and Bengtsson will be a vital piece in Hareide's master plan to contain Cristiano Ronaldo – on the verge of becoming Madrid's new all-time top scorer.

Did you know?
How many successive UEFA Champions League group games have Malmö lost? Our extensive match background has this and more.

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