5 things to know about Schalke's visit to Madrid

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm •  Published: March 17, 2014
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MADRID (AP) — Holding a 6-1 lead from the first leg, Real Madrid can finish off its one-sided Champions League series with Schalke on Tuesday.

Madrid's attacking firepower was on display in the lopsided win in Gelsenkirchen, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema leading the way.

Benzema, however, is out for the return match in the Spanish capital.

Here are five things to know about the match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium:

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BENZEMA OUT

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will not play against Schalke after limping off with a right leg problem in Saturday's 1-0 victory at Malaga.

Benzema is enjoying one of his most productive campaigns at Madrid, with 21 goals in all competitions, but coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday he will not risk his first-choice striker with a crucial Spanish league match with Barcelona looming on Sunday.

Madrid's big lead could also allow Ancelotti to rest defender Raphael Varane with Barcelona in mind.

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RONALDO RECORD

Already Portugal's all-time leading scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo can surpass Real Madrid great Ferenc Puskas next.

Ronaldo set the scoring mark for his national team last week, and now sits only two goals shy of matching Puskas' 242 goals scored for Madrid in competitive games.

Ronaldo has netted 11 goals in the Champions League this season, leaving him three shy of matching the record 14 scored by Barcelona rival Lionel Messi in the current format of the competition.

Jose Altafini of AC Milan scored 14 in the 1962-63 European Cup campaign.

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MAKING A MARK

The generous advantage secured by Madrid means coach Carlo Ancelotti can rotate his squad, and that will give some fringe players an opportunity heading into the final stretch of the season.

Holding midfielder Asier Illarramendi could get a rare start, while the Italian coach confirmed on Monday that Alvaro Morata, Jese Rodriguez and Isco will accompany Ronaldo in attack, meaning Gareth Bale will be on the bench.



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