Real Madrid will equal the club’s record winning run with victory over Basel in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. The defending champions are already assured of their place in the round of 16 and only a Basel victory by four goals or more could jeopardize Real’s chances of topping Group B.
Real currently sit six points clear of their Swiss opponents and claimed a 5-1 triumph when the sides met at Santiago Bernabeu back in September.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men will head into the clash having embarked on a winning streak of 14 matches in all competitions. The club record currently stands at 15 – achieved under Miguel Munoz in 1960-61 and Jose Mourinho in 2011-12. However, in Basel, Ancelotti – who this week revealed talks over a new contract have started faces a side who have won both home fixtures in the Champions League so far, beating Liverpool 1-0 and Ludogorets 4-0.
If Basel get the better of Real and Liverpool fail to beat Ludogorets, the Swiss champions will join Ancelotti’s side in the next round. And Coach Paulo Sousa, whose last Champions League appearance as a player was against Real Madrid with Panathinaikos will have been boosted this week by the news that captain Marco Streller has put pen to paper on a new deal that will keep him at the club until 2016.
Less encouraging for Basel is the fact that when they last hosted Spanish opposition in the Champions League, Barcelona in 2008 they were on the receiving end of a 5-0 thumping, although they did beat Valencia 3-0 on home soil during last season’s UEFA Europa League.
Cristiano Ronaldo will have fond memories of visiting Switzerland, the Portuguese forward scored his first Champions League goals for Real in a 5-2 win over Zurich during the 2009-10 campaign. Few people will be rushing to put their money on a draw in this one, though, as Real have never played out a stalemate in 21 matches against Swiss opposition.
Basel will be without the services of suspended Serey Die, but come into the match having not conceded a goal for 434 minutes, scoring 15 of their own in that time. Real continue to make do without Luka Modric, who was injured in Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Italy during the international break, with Isco the man chosen to step into the void for Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Eibar.
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Atletico Madrid vs Olympiakos 19:45
Malmo vs Juventus 19:45
Ludogorets vs Liverpool 19:45
Basel vs Real Madrid 19:45
Bayer Leverkusen vs Monaco 19:45
Anderlecht vs Galatasaray 19:45
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund 19:45
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