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Malmo vs. Real Madrid: three things that will shape the outcome

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Real Madrid are in Sweden to take on Malmo tonight in a tie that most expect the Spaniards to win.

However, it's worth noting that the Swedbank Stadium is something of a fortress for the group underdogs and with a full house expected, this could be a tougher assignment than predicted.

Rafa Benitez will be drumming into his side that another healthy win, after the 4-0 demolition of Shaktar Donetsk, will see Los Blancos top the group after two games and put them in the box seat ahead of the next set of fixtures.

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Just one goal conceded this season means that Malmo's strikers need to be on their game from the first whistle if they want to achieve anything from this one.

Let's take a look at three things that will shape the outcome...

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Real's injury crisis

Man for man, Real Madrid should still be too strong for their hosts, but the visitors do arrive without four of their highest profile players.

Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Pepe and Sergio Ramos are all missing for this game and it does give Malmo a glimmer of a stunning upset.

After losing to PSG in the first round of Champions League fixtures, the Swedes need to get at least a point from Wednesday's game to give them any hope of still being in with a shout of qualification at the business end of the group stage.

Misfiring Ronaldo

Not often that anyone can accuse Cristiano Ronaldo of a blip but he's clearly trying far too hard to get the all-time Madrid goalscoring record monkey off of his back.

14 chances wasted against Malaga in Real's last game was more than the whole of the visitor's side combined. Chances that the Portuguese would normally score on nine out of 10 occasions.

Arguably, Real's play is centred around getting Ronaldo past the mark at present, and that is to the detriment of the side as a whole.

It certainly won't please Rafa Benitez who has no time for ego and indulgence. Expect to see more histrionics if chances go begging.

Fortress Swedbank

You have to go back some 26 games and to mid-May for the last time Malmo lost at home. Indeed, it's the only loss the hosts have had at the Swedbank Stadium for at least a year.

Currently fifth in the Swedish top flight, Malmo have already played 26 games in their league season.

Match fitness won't be a concern to a side that have scored at an average of at least two goals for every home match played, and a similar 4-2-3-1 set up to their visitors should make for an exciting tie.

What are your score predictions for Malmo vs Real Madrid? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football

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