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Football | Champions League

Ronaldo, Bale return for Real at Napoli

Cristiano Ronaldo returns from injury and Gareth Bale after suspension to spearhead Real Madrid's bid for a seventh consecutive Champions League quarterfinal spot against Napoli in their second-leg last-16 clash on Tuesday.

Ronaldo, who sat out the weekend's 4-1 win at Eibar, will line up on the left of striker Karim Benzema, with Bale on the Frenchman's right, to recreate Real's three-pronged "BBC" attack at the Stadio San Paolo.

James Rodriguez, who starred in Real's league win, is on the bench for the reigning Champions League holders.

Napoli are bidding to make the last eight of the competition for the first time in a packed-out stadium, where fans began queueing hours before the doors opened at 1400 GMT.

But Napoli need a miracle after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu last month, when Benzema levelled an early opener from Lorenzo Insigne and Casemiro and Toni Kroos, in midfield alongside Luka Modric, struck one apiece.

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri stays faithful to his 4-3-3 formation that will be led by makeshift striker Dries Mertens, who has hit three hat-tricks this season and taken his Serie A tally to an impressive 18 goals.

Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik, who only recently returned from a cruciate knee ligament injury, starts on the bench alongside exciting young midfielders Marko Rog and Piotr Zielinski.


Pepe Reina; Elseid Hysaj, Raul Albiol, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam; Allan, Amadou Diawara, Marek Hamsik (capt); Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne

Coach: Maurizio Sarri (ITA)


Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos (capt), Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Coach: Zinedine Zidane (FRA)

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)


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