Real Madrid vs. Apoel Nicosia: Preview, Live Stream, TV Info for UCL Match

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 09:  Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid in action during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Levante at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 9, 2017 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League defence will begin on Wednesday when they host Apoel Nicosia FC at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur also in Group H, it's important Los Blancos get their campaign off to a winning start, particularly as they look to shake off some uninspiring domestic form after back-to-back draws.

Here are the viewing details you need to catch the action, followed by a preview of the contest.


Date: Wednesday, September 13

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST, 2:45 p.m. ET

TV: BT Sport Extra (UK), Fox Sports 2 USA

Live Stream: BT Sport Player (UK), Fox Sports Go (USA), WatchESPN (USA)


Team News

According to Reuters (h/t Marca), Karim Benzema's hamstring injury against Levante on Saturday will keep him out for a month, but Cristiano Ronaldo is free to play as his ban is for domestic games.

Per Goal's Ben Hayward, Raphael Varane and Keylor Navas were doubtful ahead of the Levante clash. Given they both failed to make the squad, they could still be doubts for Wednesday.

For Apoel, Georgios Efrem might also be a doubt after missing two matches through injury, per Transfermarkt.

Predicted Real Madrid Lineup: Kiko Casilla; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Isco, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo

Predicted Apoel Lineup: Boy Waterman; Carlao, Jesus Rueda, Roberto Lago, Praxitelis Vouros; Nuno Morais, Agustin Farias, Ghayas Zahid, Roland Sallai, Lorenzo Ebecilio; Igor de Camargo



Real have made a stuttering start to their league campaign this year after being held to draws by Valencia and Levante in their last two matches.

Manager Zinedine Zidane's rotation policy paid great dividends last year, but Madrid struggled without some of their top stars on Saturday.

The team lacked fluency in midfield, with Luka Modric's absence keenly felt, as noted by ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:

The Croatian will give the team much-needed control on Wednesday and should allow Real to dominate possession with ease against their lesser opponents.

Ronaldo has been sorely missed during his suspension, too, which became even more pronounced when Benzema was substituted inside half an hour against Levante.

As La Liga writer Andrew Gaffney noted, replacement Gareth Bale was wasteful in front of goal as he missed a multitude of chances:

The Welshman may well keep his place in the team, though; if he does, he'll likely have plenty more opportunities on Wednesday.

Regardless of how Bale fares, the return of Ronaldo should be more than enough to help the team to a comfortable win.

He, Isco and Casemiro have all looked sharp in preparation for the match:

After a disappointing start to the season, Apoel should provide an opportunity to cast off the problems that have hampered Los Blancos thus far.

With the likes of Modric and Ronaldo set to feature, there should be little issue in securing three points and a healthy scoreline.


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