Where to play Iván Helguera was just one of
the questions occupying Real Madrid CF coach Mariano García Remón ahead
of the visit of FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Decision not made
With centre-back Walter Samuel suspended and David Beckham nursing a
cracked rib, García Remón must decide whether to retain the versatile
Helguera in the role of midfield pivot or restore him to his favoured
position in central defence. "Helguera can play in central defence or
midfield," said the coach. "We haven't decided where he will play
tomorrow - that will depend on how the rest of the squad is shaping up.
"Obviously being without Walter is a problem," he continued, "but we
have other players who are more than capable of filling in. Francisco
Pavón gave an excellent performance on Saturday so I'm not too worried."
At the same time, García Remón should be able to welcome back Guti
following his recovery after hurting his thigh in Saturday's 1-1 draw at
Real Betis Balompie.
"Guti trained today and I'm confident that he will be available for
tomorrow," he told uefa.com. "He is a very important player for us at
the moment and that's why it's essential that he is fit. Perhaps this
match could be decided by whether he is 100 per cent or not."
García Remón does have Santiago Solari and Borja Fernández available
again, while two youth-team players, midfield player Javi García and
right-back Álvaro Arbeloa, are in the squad. The latter made his debut
as a substitute against Betis. However Madrid line up, they know they
face a difficult evening against the Group B leaders.
'Huge effort' required
Luís Figo said: "We know that they play with three centre-backs, with a
sweeper in front who man-marks the rival attackers, and two pacy
forwards." García Remón added: "They are a very quick side who always
create plenty of chances and we will need to put in a huge effort to
As for Dynamo coach Joszef Szabo, his only absentee is suspended forward
Maris Verpakovskis. His message was that his team would show no fear in
the Santiago Bernabéu. "I always have and always will have the greatest
respect for Real Madrid but that does not mean that we should be afraid
of them, we have nothing to fear," he said. "We're treating this tie the
same as we have the others - the team will be going out to show their
character, that they know how to play football and will try to win the
Dynamo, who advanced to the Ukranian Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win
against FC Volyn Lutsk at the weekend, have never won at the Bernabéu
but their last two visits have ended in draws. Szabo added: "We had a
tough match at the weekend but so did Madrid. We have been enjoying a
good run and our players will be going out to show everything they have.
After just two games, it's difficult to evaluate our team's situation
compared to Madrid at this moment or to say who will emerge from our
While Dynamo lead the section with six points from two matches, Madrid
are tied on three points with Bayer 04 Leverkusen after a win and a
defeat. Figo said: "It's a strange situation for us but we are doing the
best we can. We must keep on working hard and keep calm about our
prospects. When the results start coming our way then I'm sure we will
feel more comfortable."