Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Wolfsburg v Real Madrid - Preview

Zidane before Wolsfburg match 
Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid will approach Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Wolfsburg "like a final".

The Frenchman said Saturday's 2-1 win over La Liga leaders Barcelona has already been forgotten.

"We cannot relax. We are not untouchable and Wolfsburg are able to hurt us," said Zidane.

"Wolfsburg have fought hard and deserve to be here. It will be a tough match but we are well prepared."

While Real closed the gap on league leaders and rivals Barca to seven points at the weekend, Wolfsburg lost 3-0 to Bayer Leverkusen, their third game without a win in the Bundesliga.

Seven points adrift of fourth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach, they are in danger of missing out on next season's Champions League.

"They may have had problems in the Bundesliga, but this is a completely different competition," said Zidane.

"They have a fast attack so we have to be alert."

Zidane is expected to name the same team which started against Barcelona, with Raphael Varane the only injury absentee at the Volkswagen Arena because of a calf problem.

Cristiano Ronaldo's late goal secured a 2-1 win at Barcelona, ending the league leaders' 39-match unbeaten run

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said "motivation won't be a problem" for his side, who are appearing in their first Champions League quarter-final.

"We have a big chance to perform on a great stage. Nobody thought we could get this far," he said.

"Real Madrid have a great squad with top-class players. They are one of the favourites for the title and one of the top clubs in Europe.

"But we will try to annoy them and I think my team can do that."

Wolfsburg are without left-back Sebastian Jung, who tore a knee ligament in the previous round against Gent and is out for the season, while midfielder Daniel Caligiuri has a groin problem.

Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach
Since we were drawn against Real Madrid, we've been really excited. But is it the biggest match in our club's history? I think there have been other great games, though maybe this is the one with the most attention. It is extraordinary for every one of us and we want to demonstrate why we are still in this competition.

I don't know right now if Naldo will be able to play. We have to talk to the doctor and also the player. He wants to play, but now it's up to me if I trust him. I don't share the speculation that he will definitely play.

Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach
It will be a tough match but we are well prepared. We will approach it like a final, we cannot relax: the win against Barcelona is already forgotten. We are in good shape and the team are focused – that is the most important thing for me.

More than anything, I want my players to concentrate on their own strengths. It gets more and more difficult, round by round, but if we work as a team we can win trophies.

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