The Italian takes his side to the Santiago Bernabeu knowing they are huge underdogs to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals
Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo concedes his side need to have a “perfect day” if they are to stand any chance of creating a Champions League upset against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
The Bundesliga side lost the first leg of their last-16 tie 2-0 on home soil and face an uphill task to overturn that deficit at the Bernabeu.
Di Matteo, who took over in Gelsenkirchen in October last year, said: “To be able to compete against a team like this, our team has to have a perfect day and hope that Real Madrid are not at their best. Then we can get a positive result.
“We have a good group. The players want to improve every day. That’s very important.”
Di Matteo won the tournament at the helm of Chelsea in 2012 and will draw on that experience against Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
“I don’t know how much it helps my team, but for me personally that experience has helped me prepare the team,” he added.
“I played in the competition, then gained experience as a coach. There is a difference between playing in the Champions League and in the domestic league, and your opponents normally play a different kind of football from the Bundesliga. The whole atmosphere is totally different as well.”