Real Madrid will be eyeing their first Champions League win of the season as they travel to Germany to tackle Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday night.
Los Blancos fell to a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in their European season opener last week, while Gladbach started their UCL campaign with an impressive 2-2 draw away to Inter.
Monchengladbach will once again be without Andreas Poulsen, Denis Zakaria and Laszlo Benes to their disposal through injury, with Mamadou Doucoure also a doubt due to a muscular problem.
Inter loanee Valentino Lazaro is also back in training after recovering from a calf injury, however the Austrian has not played a competitive match since the end of August. Marcus Thuram, Alassane Plea, Jonas Hofmann and Florian Neuhaus were all left out of the starting 11 at Mainz on the weekend but should return to the team for this one.
As for Los Blancos, Eden Hazard is the big news having been named in the squad to fly to Germany.
The Belgian has spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines and was not expected to return until the end of next month, but could now feature against Gladbach.
Dani Carvajal, Martin Odegaard, Mariano Diaz and Alvaro Odriozola have all been left out of the squad, while Nacho also misses out on the travelling party due to a knock that he picked up against Barca. That means Lucas Vazquez will be expected to start at right-back.
Zizou is likely to stick with the bulk of the side that started in the El Clasico win, meaning that Modric may once again have to watch from the bench with Federico Valverde preferred in the middle of the park.
Bottom of the table after matchday one, the importance of Tuesday’s contest means that the likes of Karim Benzema, Casemiro, Ramos and Raphael Varane should all be in the starting line-up.
Luka Jovic, Rodrygo Goes and Isco are all options for change in the final third of the field, but Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior should keep their spots.
Gladbach go into Tuesday’s clash off the back of the second away Bundesliga win of the season having beaten Mainz 05 3-2 on Saturday – a result which moves them up to fifth in the table with eight points from a possible 15.
Marco Rose’s men made a very emboldening start to their Champions League campaign last week as well, picking up a point away to Inter, who needed Romelu Lukaku’s effort in the dying embers to avoid defeat.
The German side are yet to battle it out in the knockout stages of the UCL, with their two previous involvements ending in the group stages.
They also failed to qualify for the last-32 of the 2019/20 Europa League, only managing third in their group behind Istanbul Basaksehir and AS Roma.
The last time Gladbach faced Madrid in European competition was almost 35 years ago in the third round of the 1985/86 UEFA Cup.
They won that won 5-1, but lost twice to Madrid’s arch nemesis, Barcelona, in the group stages of the 2016/17 Champions League.
The Colts’ encouraging performance at San Siro last time out will give the confidence of getting another positive result on Tuesday.
A point or three would lead them kindly into their next European outing with shock group leaders Shakhtar.
Real Madrid recorded a hugely important El Clasico win on Saturday, beating Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp with thanks to goals from Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric.
The win keeps the reigning Spanish champions atop of La Liga – picking up 13 points from their first six matches of the season.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were extraordinarily beaten by Shakhtar in their Champions League curtain-raiser last week.
After going in three goals down at the break, Modric and Vinicius Jr scored to ignite a comeback, but the Ukrainian hung on to claim a famous 3-2 win at the Bernabeu.
The 13 times Champions League winners have now lost all of their last three European outings, having also come undone twice by Manchester City in the last-16 stage of last season’s competition.
Madrid are yet to falter at the group stage in each of the tournament, qualifying for the knockout round of the Champions League in each of their 25 participations.
Zidane’s side have now lost in the round of 16 in their last two campaigns and will be desperate to make an impression this term.