Ahead of their Champions League tie against APOEL, Real Madrid’s midfielder, Sami Khedira spoke about his team’s chances especially with the absent of important midfielder, Xabi Alonso, who is suspended for the first leg.
Although admitting that Alonso’s presence is huge for Los Blancos, Khedira believes that his team have an adequate replacement for the Spanish international, adding his confident in getting a positive result in Cyprus.
“Xabi Alonso is very important to us. He won’t play tomorrow and that’s a new situation for us that we’d like to resolve. That’s why we’ll do our best to win at this stadium. Xabi is an excellent player, but we have other excellent midfielders, such as Sahin, Granero and Ozil.”
Although Khedira is pretty optimistic with his team’s chance in getting something positive out of their clash against APOEL, the Germany international didn’t hide away the fact that it would be a very tough battle indeed. The ex-Stuttgart player consider the Cyprus opponent as a complicated side which have huge potential to trouble the Spanish giant, especially since the minnows are playing with their heart in every game, giving their all on the pitch.
“We know APOEL have a good team and we respect them. They did well in the group stage and are a strong side. They play from the heart, which makes them a complicated opponent. The clash will be important and I think we’ll do well because we have a very strong team,” Khedira added.
With the absence of Alonso, Khedira is an almost sure starter for the tie and will be partnered by either one of Sahin, Granero or maybe even Lass Diara on the center of the playing field. The German international has been an important figure for Mourinho’s side, although there were some rumors about his argument with Jose Mourinho in the first part of the season, in which the player probably didn’t get his usual playing time.
Being strong favorite to overcome their opponent in the quarter final, Madrid must still be cautious especially in their away tie against APOEL, as the home team have been playing really well in front of their fans this season. Getting ahead of themselves in a match as huge as the Champions League could cost an upset, although it’s very unlikely indeed considering the individual quality that Mourinho’s team possessed on their ranks.