Lothar Matthäus believes all-out attack is the answer as FK Partizan seek to humble Real Madrid CF.
Lothar Matthäus believes there is only one way for his FK Partizan team to stop Real Madrid CF in their tracks - attack.
One win away
Madrid's 1-0 home win against Partizan on Matchday 3 took the Spanish champions five points clear at the top of UEFA Champions League Group F, and victory in Belgrade would seal their place in the last 16 with two matches to spare. But Partizan's German coach believes his side, bottom with one point having drawn with FC Porto and lost at Olympique de Marseille, could have shocked Madrid on their own turf with a more expansive approach, and he intends to adopt one on Tuesday night, saying: "I am convinced that we can win."
Matthäus said: "We have to be more offensive than in Madrid. I was completely disappointed by the first 70 minutes of play, just as in the second half in Marseille. We have to change that if we want success. We will play aggressively. We respect Madrid. They are a goalscoring machine, but I believe that we have an answer."
Nothing to lose
Partizan captain Saša Ilic echoed his coach's comments, and added: "I promise just one thing: we will not let our fans down. We will play with our heads and hearts. We simply do not have anything to lose."
However, Matthäus must again field a lineup without injured goalkeeper Ivica Kralj and Serbo-Montenegrin international defender Milivoje Cirkovic, though midfield player Vladimir Ivic returns to the squad after three months out with a heel injury and Taribo West is included despite pain in his right knee. Matthäus said: "Taribo West has an injured knee and is still doubtful for the game. If he can play he will take care of Ronaldo. Otherwise, Branko Savic will do that just as in Madrid."
Madrid, meanwhile, know that not only will a victory secure them first place in the group if Marseille draw in Porto, but a point in Belgrade will take them through should the Portuguese champions gain a home win.
Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz, asked about what tactics he expected from Matthäus, said that he was concentrating on his own side. "I do not know what strategy he is planning," Queiroz said. "On the other hand, my team will do their best to achieve victory and secure a place in the second phase of the Champions League. I am sure that we will win, even it is not an easy task in Belgrade."
Ronaldo, meanwhile, has received plaudits since arriving in the Serbo-Montenegrin capital, and paid tribute to those fans. "I am very flattered with the warm welcome I have received here in Belgrade," the Brazilian striker said. "That will be a motivation."
Focused on goal
As for whether Madrid could win the tournament for the first time since his arrival, Ronaldo added: "Sincerely, I hope that I will succeed in finally getting that trophy. I am working hard with my team-mates, as all of us want to achieve that goal."