Real Madrid start their UEFA Champions League campaign at home to Union Berlin on Wednesday in one of the two early kick-offs. The Bundesliga outfit head to Santiago Bernabeu for their first ever taste of soccer at Europe’s top table against the all-time most successful club in the competition’s history. Real are off to a strong start in La Liga with five consecutive wins to boast a 100% record, while Union have lost their last two and sit eighth after two opening victories. Carlo Ancelotti’s men lost in last year’s semifinals while the Germans got to the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League last term. Home form will be key for Union, so anything on the road at places like Santiago Bernabeu will be considered a bonus by Urs Fischer and his players.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
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How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, September 20 | Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Santiago Bernabeu — Madrid, Spain
- Watch: Paramount+
- Odds: Real -275; Draw: +400; Union +700
Real: Dani Ceballos returned over the weekend and Ferland Mendy could make it back for this one, but Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and Vinicius Junior as well as Arda Guler will remain out. Joselu should continue alongside Rodrygo up top while Ancelotti can rearrange Eduardo Camavinga, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Jude Bellingham who has hit the ground running with Real.
Potential Real XI: Kepa; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, F Garcia; Valverde, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Bellingham; Joselu, Rodrygo.
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Union: Rani Khedira, Andras Schafer and Laurenz Dehl are out, but Kevin Volland is not suspended for this one despite his domestic ban. Kevin Behrens should start once again in attack with David Datro Fofana hopeful of also being included. Leonardo Bonucci is unlikely to start just yet but will provide valuable experience.
Potential Union XI: Ronnow; Doekhi, Knoche, Leite; Juranovic, Laidouni, Kral, Aaronson, Gosens; Fofana, Behrens.
This one should be straightforward enough for Real against the debutants Union but the Spaniards have been caught out before by the likes of Sheriff so should consider themselves warned. The Germans are unlikely to be overawed by the sense of occasion in Madrid so it could be closer than expected. Pick: Real 2, Union 0.