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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Football

Real aim to finish off Galatasaray in Istanbul
AP
Istanbul, April 08, 2013
First Published: 23:44 IST(8/4/2013)
Last Updated: 03:06 IST(9/4/2013)

Cristiano Ronaldo aims to polish off Galatasaray in Tuesday's return leg here and ease Real Madrid into the semis.

Ronaldo leads the league with nine goals in nine outings. And with Galatasaray needing to score early and often, the forward will likely enjoy ample chances to add to his tally. "If we go with the ambition to score a goal, we will go through fine," he said.

The last time Madrid lost by three goals or more in the Champions League was in 2008-09 when it fell 4-0 at Liverpool. Barring a similar upset, Real are on course to reach their 24th semi.

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Madrid will be without Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, suspended for accumulating yellow cards. Kaka was left off the squad for health reasons.  Raphael Varane will likely replace Ramos along-side Pepe, while Alon-so's absence could be filled by Luka Modric.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has designated Diego Lopez as his starting goalkeeper, meaning Iker Casillas will watch from the dugout for the second straight match since recovering from a broken hand.

Hopeful hosts
Galatasaray is hoping UEFA will remove the yellow card given to striker Burak Yilmaz in the first leg. Yilmaz, who leads his team with eight goals in the tournament, was booked for supposedly diving in the area, when televised replays show he was fouled by Ramos.

If Yilmaz is not cleared to play, the Turkish leaders' hopes will largely rest on former Mourinho charges Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder.


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