APOEL vs. Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho took Khedira with him to the press conference ahead of tonight`s quarter-final in Nicosia, Cyprus. Both showed great respect to the Cypriot side for ot`s history and the acheivements of recent years. This was after five days of silence from the Real Madrid camp following the events at Villareal. They did walk out without answering the last question, which was about the ” law of silence.”

Real will have to manage without Alonso, Lass and Di Maria tonight. Mourinho is expected to select four from the five most attacking players available.( Ronaldo,Benzema,Higuain,Kaka,Ozil ) Varane is likely to start in defense after his superb performance on saturday. To keep a good balance to the team is important so Coentrao, Khedira and Granero could well occupy midfield and ready to retreat to assist the defense when necessary.

All three strikers scored on saturday so it will be unlucky for one to be droppedbut Mourinho has shown slight preference to Benzema over Higuain, when both have been available. Real Madrid have no0t looked their best when playing defensively and Mourinho would love to have a semi-final place almost booked before the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Christiano returns to the stadium where he was taunted with shouts of “Messi, Messi,” while playing for Portugal in September.

Di Maria was probably fit enough to be in the squad but Mourinho has decided to wait until their next game against Osasuna.

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