Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Lazio need a victory by two goals against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu tonight if they are to reach the knockout stages.
Real, meanwhile. find themselves in the surprising situation of not having sealed qualification despite beginning the campaign in impressive fashion
Coach Bernd Schuster believes that his side have not enjoyed the breaks in their previous two matches and is looking for his side to make amends tonight.
“It’s true we didn’t want to find ourselves in this position,” said the German. “We had some great chances to beat Olympiacos away and I thought we deserved at least a draw in Germany against Werder Bremen but we lost. We have to resolve our situation on Tuesday.
“We’re in a better position than they are, in that we have two possibilities to advance: with a win or with a draw. We have a lot in our favour and we must take advantage of that.”
Madrid are without the injured trio of Gabriel Heinze, Javier Angel Balboa and Christoph Metzelder but will have striker Ruud van Nistelrooy available after he shrugged off an injury scare.
According to Schuster, Madrid are “up for this one. It’ll be difficult but we’re confident. We have a lot of respect for Lazio. We’re going to try to play at our rhythm. Our players know how important this game is and they know their capabilities and qualities.”
Lazio coach Delio Rossi says the prospect of “playing one of the best teams in the world” is a “very emotional one”. “In a game of football a thousand things can happen. It’s going to be difficult but we can win.”
The visitors will be without Simone Del Nero, who has a foot injury, but they welcome back Emilson Sanchez Cribari who was suspended for the 2-1 defeat at home to Olympiakos two weeks ago.
Much will depend upon the performances of strikers Tommaso Rocchi and Goran Pandev.
“They’ll be important, of course, but it won’t only be up to them,” said Rossi. “Every player in our team is important. We’ll need to keep our balance against Madrid. We need to play our game, not allow Madrid to play theirs, and we’ll also need a bit of luck.”