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Champions League: Schalke 04's defensive composure will make it hard for Real Madrid

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Since former Chelsea FC manager and former Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo took over Schalke 04, The Miners are playing with a solid 5-3-2 formation that could match-up well against Real Madrid's offensive-minded style.

With Nastasic, Matip and Höweded as the team's center-backs and Uchida and Fuchs in the flanks, Di Matteo will try to overcome the injuries to his main core of players. Julian Draxler, Farfán, Kolasinac, Goretzka and Obasi are all expected to miss this match, and Schalke's play upfront will certainly struggle without them. However, Di Matteo will only use these injuries to play the way he loves to play, sitting back and containing Real Madrid's efforts while hoping for a counterattacking or set piece opportunity.

They aren't very good individually, but Schalke have just conceded 2 goals over their last 5 games played, and they faced some good competition in Bayern Munich (away) and Borussia Mönchengladbach. That's why, and even though the BBC completed their best performance so far in last season's 1-6 win at Veltins Arena, a different kind of game should be expected.

Add Real Madrid's latest struggles to Schalke's defensive composure and Los Blancos will probably need more than just one game to dismantle Schalke and advance to the Champions League's next round. If Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema don't play at their best, Schalke could very well hang onto a 0-0 draw.