Both clubs cannot afford to contemplate defeat when Real Madrid entertain Dynamo Kyiv at the Santiago Bernabeu. Having lost their opening Group E games a fortnight ago, any further slip could seriously jeopardise their qualification prospects.
“It’s a vital match,” conceded Fabio Capello, whose Madrid team went down 2-0 at Lyon in their opening game.
“After a defeat like that it is of huge importance that we take the three points.”
Dynamo’s desire to avoid defeat is, if anything, even greater, after they suffered their heaviest home loss in 12 years when losing 4-1 to Steaua Bucharest.
A big surprise,” was Capello’s response to that scoreline. “We know that when Dynamo play away from home they can be a very dangerous team. They have a lot of pace in their side and we have to be wary of that.”
Real will be without right-back Míchel Salgado, who has a knee injury, while his replacement, Cicinho, faces a lengthy lay-off with knee ligament damage. Sergio Ramos may come in on the right with Raúl Bravo dropping into central defence. Ruud van Nistelrooy is unavailable for personal reasons so Ronaldo will make his first start since undergoing knee injury in July.
Dynamo coach Anatoli Demianenko was in confident mood ahead of Tuesday’s game.
“You can be sure that we are ready for this Champions League game,” he said.
“I have seen videos of Real Madrid and they are a very strong team but I have a strategy for the match and we will work towards that.”
Dynamo will be without Serhiy Rebrov, who injured a hip against Steaua. Fellow Ukrainian international Ruslan Rotan is also out as he recovers from an ankle injury, although Croatia defender Goran Sabljic is available again after suspension.
“As we both lost our first match in the group, Tuesday’s game is certain to be a very interesting one,” added Demianenko. “We are looking forward to getting out on the pitch and showing what we can do.”
Real Madrid: Iker Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Raul Bravo, Fabio Cannavaro, Roberto Carlos; David Beckham, Emerson, Mahamadou Diarra; Antonio Cassano, Ronaldo, Raúl González.
Dynamo Kyiv: Olexandr Shovkovskiy; Marjan Markovic, Goran Sabljic, Rodrigo, Andriy Nesmachniy; Ayila Yussuf, Goran Gavrancic, Carlos Corrêa, Diogo Rincón; Oleh Gusev, Maksim Shatskikh.