Home » Champ League, Latest » CL Match preview: Real Madrid vs Auxerre

Real Madrid entertain Auxerre at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night safe in the knowledge that qualification to the UEFA Champions League last 16 and the Group G top spot are already in the bag.

Jose Mourinho’s side, unbeaten so far in the campaign, sealed their spot in the knock-out rounds along with AC Milan and emerged winners of their group last time out when they comfortably disposed of Ajax 4-0 in Amsterdam.

The tie may be irrelevant for the Primera Liga giants, who are looking forward to a 14th consecutive participation in the last 16, but Auxerre are still in contention for third place, with qualification to the Europa League round of 32 left to play for.

The French side are now competing against Ajax, who are one point ahead, to avoid finishing bottom in their group, and travel to Madrid knowing defeat will see them eliminated from all European competitions.

Mourinho’s men beat Auxerre 1-0 in Burgundy back in September, with Angel di Maria finding the back of the net to do the damage for the Spanish side.

That encounter marked the only previous meeting between the two teams, but Madrid’s record against French opposition is formidable, having lost just one game in 10.

Mourinho himself is suspended for the clash after allegedly instructing already booked players to deliberately get themselves sent off against Ajax last month in order to wipe their slates clean for the knockout stage.

Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, the players who were dismissed in Amsterdam, will also sit out the dead-rubber clash having been handed one-match bans by Uefa.

Team News

Veteran Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas will be rested for the encounter, while youngsters Alvaro Morata and Pablo Sarabia could get the chance to impress.

Sami Khedira remains out with a thigh injury, while Di Maria is sidelined with an ingrowing toenail.

Gonzalo Higuain (back), Fernando Gago (knee), Sergio Canales (knee) and Kaka (knee) are also unavailable.

Steeven Langil is fit for Auxerre, despite having been set for knee surgery prior to the French side’s last outing against Milan.

Anthony Le Tallec has been named in the squad for the first time since sustaining an ankle injury in September, while Delvin Ndinga (quadriceps), Alexandre Licata (ankle) and Cedric Hengbart (hamstring) are out until next year.

Yaya Sanogo (broken tibia) and Ireneusz Jelen (knee) remain on the sidelines having been out since September, while Jeremy Berthod has not played since sustaining a calf knock last month.

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