Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm Follow along as football beat writers David Wilson and Stephen Bailey provide regular updates from College Park, Md. With a win, the Orange would move within one victory from bowl qualification.
1 European champions Real Madrid travel to Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday evening to face Schalke in a repeat of last seasons Champions League last 16 tie. European champions Real Madrid travel to Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday evening to face Schalke in a repeat of last season’s Champions League last 16 tie.Carlo Ancelotti’s side ran out 9-2 winner on aggregate this time last year en-route to lifting the trophy in Lisbon, but the Spanish giants have had a stuttering start to 2015 – including a 4-0 hammering at the hands of local rivals Atletico Madrid.James Rodriquez, Fabio Coentrao, Sami Khedira, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric are all sidelined for Los Blancos, but Pepe is available again after a month out with a rib injury.France international Karim Benzema is also slight doubt after a bout of flu, but Real will be looking to reigning World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo to spearhead their attack – the Portuguese has gone three games without a goal.Can Ronaldo return to goalscoring form and who will replace the injured Ramos? talkSPORT takes a look…Possible Real Madrid line-up against Schalke: GoalkeeperIker Casillas has suffered from a dip in form over the past couple of seasons, but the experienced campaigner will continue between the sticks – his 147th Champions League tie.DefenceMadrid will miss the experience and leadership of Ramos and will have to rely on Frenchman Raphael Varane and Pepe.Schalke may view Pepe’s lack of competitive football as an advantage and former Madrid man Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be fired up against his former employers.Full-backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are expected to push forward, and look to exploit gaps if Schalke play three at the back.MidfieldToni Kroos will be keen to impress on his return to Germany, and with Modric out, is likely to be partnered by Asier Illarramendi and Isco in a three-man midfield.Los Blancos will look to dominate in the middle, but will need to be careful of committing too many men forward, as they tend to concede.AttackRonaldo has been struggling with a knee problem, and has not scored in his last three games – the longest the Portuguese has gone without a goal this season, although he has scored 38 times in 35 appearances.Gareth Bale is going through his first mini-crisis in the Spanish capital, with sections of the Madrid crowd booing the Welshman for his apparent reluctance to pass the ball, and he will be keen to silence his critics.Real fans, how do you think you’ll up against Schalke? Comment below… 1