The Champions League first phase will continue on Wednesday, as Real Madrid and FC Copenhagen do battle in Spain at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in the evening for what could be a very exciting match, although star Gareth Bale will not be available this time around after an injury.
Madrid is coming off of a 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid at home on Saturday in La Liga play and that came after a 6-1 win over Galatasaray the previous week in Champions League play. Real Madrid is currently in first place in Group B ahead of Juventus and the team has won one match while already scoring six goals in that contest. The match on Wednesday will be streaming on Fox Soccer 2Go in the United States and on Sky Sports in England and the game will be on at 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. BST and is a big matchup for Real after they lost this past week.
The loss in the Madrid Derby was depressing for Real fans, but now the club will get the chance to put that behind them and while Bale will not be in the lineup, Cristiano Ronaldo will be ready to handle things and lead the way for the team. The club has plenty of firepower on the front line even if Bale is not playing and his absence will give Ronaldo the chance to dominate on his own. The loss on Saturday was the first in the rivalry for the team since back in 1999 and the team now will be looking to move farther away from that result.
Xabi Alonso will be out of the match with a foot issue, while Bale will be dealing with a thigh injury and muscle strain that could keep him out of action for the next couple weeks. The club is hoping to have him back for the next Champions League matchup with Juventus at the Bernabéu and the team feels he will be recovered enough by then to play.
Bale was ruled out of the game after he could not participate in training this week leading up to the match and while he played 45 minutes last week against Atletico Madrid, he clearly was not healed enough to play on Wednesday and that is even more disappointing after Real lost that matchup. Making matters worse for Bale, he hasn't been able to play a full match yet since transferring from Tottenham on a €100 million deal and fans are starting to get antsy about his status moving forward.
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has praised his team for playing hard, but said they need to play better overall this week and especially on Wednesday, as any Champions League loss could come back to bite the club later in the season. The dominating win over Galatasaray was a nice start, but the team needs to do better overall on the pitch and a victory against Copenhagen is a good way to start that.
Real will likely have a starting lineup with Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos as well as Fabio Contrao, Sami Khedira, Luka Modric, Angel Di Maria, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema without Bale playing and FC Copenhagen has no one missing the matchup.