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Real Madrid take 22 footballers to Italy for Napoli game

08 March 2017

With that said, neither Cristiano Ronald for Real Madrid or Dries Mertens for Napoli were at their bets in the first leg. We always go out and play our game and try to win.

"We always go out to play", he said to reporters.

Knowing that they need to put pressure if they are going to have any chance of going through, Napoli took the initiative in the early stages of the match and were close after seven minutes.

Real, fielding the same line-up that started last year's final which they won on penalties against Atletico Madrid, were being totally outplayed, although they almost snatched an equaliser against the run of play. I don't think they will be exhausted after Saturday's win at Roma - when you win a big away game like that you don't get exhausted, you gain strength.

But Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is aware that Napoli can be a tough nut to crack at home.

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Real Madrid's second was credited to Mertens as an own goal, but the artifice was Ramos. "I'm sure the San Paolo stadium will be an inferno and if we score early, even more so".

The European Champions could have scored again on the 83rd minute. "We'll suffer, but we're motivated".

That, coupled with some good signs in the first half of the game in Munich (they could have led at the break), gives Arsenal plenty of hope that they can get on the scoresheet.

Both players were left out of the side that cruised to a 4-1 win against Eibar at the weekend, but return for tonight's match at the Stadio San Paolo as Madrid look to reach the quarter-finals of this competition for a seventh successive season. Yet if the visitors looked risky on the transition, Napoli were just as threatening with their one-touch passing game and it was to pay dividends midway through the half. There's no shame in this result - Real Madrid are the defending champions for a reason.

In those fixtures, they have scored an average of 2.9 goals per game and also conceded far fewer (one per game compared to 1.5 when Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo are all there). Madrid were dominating possession and Dani Carvajal nearly scored a goal to remember as he juggled the ball through the Napoli defence but hooked his effort over won his weaker left foot.

Real Madrid take 22 footballers to Italy for Napoli game