Real Madrid face Galatasaray with Ancelotti expecting Champions League progress at Bernabeu

Real Madrid will confirm their place in the knockout stages if they avoid defeat against Turkish side Galatasaray tonight (KO 19:45GMT).

Carlo Ancelotti’s men currently sit top of the group with three wins and a draw from their opening four games and hold a six point advantage of the chasing pack, second place Galatasaray and third place Juventus.

The club are currently unbeaten in their last 5 games, with a 2-2 draw to Juventus the only blot on their recent copybook.



Latest Odds: Real Madrid 1/3, draw 4/1, Galatasaray 9/1
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Ancelotti will head into the game without star man Ronaldo after the attacker was injured in the weekend’s 5-0 win over Almeria.

The win kept Real third in the table, six points behind leaders Barcelona but depending on the extent of the hamstring injury suffered the club could be without Ronaldo for a couple of weeks.

A Madrid medical statement read: “After the tests taken today by Cristiano Ronaldo by the Real Madrid medical services in the Sanitas La Moraleja hospital, an injury has been detected in the back of the left thigh. Pending developments.”

The player told his waiting press that all was “fine” as he left the hospital however he is likely to miss Wednesday clash against Roberto Mancini’s side as well as the upcoming games with Real Valladolid and Cope del Rey opponents Olimpic Xativa.

The Portuguese forward has scored 67 goals for club and country in 2013 and he has been unplayable at times this season with his opening goal in the win over Almeria taking his tally to 35 goals in his last 25 appearances in all competitions.

Gareth Bale will step up to table in the absence of the 28 year old with the Welsh man enjoying a purple patch of his own. The former Spurs man scored his 5th goal of the season against Almeria and now has four goals and 5 assists in his last five games.

Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentrao will also be missing for Real while Galatasaray will be without key men Wesley Sneijder, Semih Kaya and Hamit Altintop for the trip to Spain.

Roberto Mancini’s side will be keen to seek revenge for their 6-1 defeat at the hand of their hosts in the opening round and with the club up to third in the Turkish standings after a run of five wins in their last 7 games confidence will be reasonably high.

Two of those defeats have come in their last three games however with Copenhagen damaging their hopes of qualification to the Champions league knockout stages with a 1-0 win in Denmark while leaders Fenerbahce stopped their recent domestic resurgence with a 2-0 win in match day 11 in turkey.

The club bounced back at the weekend however with goals from Selcuk Inan and Burak Yilmaz helping them to a 2-1 win over Sivasspor.

Didier Drogba came off the bench in that game but should start in the Spanish capital.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.