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Monday 18 December 2017

Ronaldo: It's 'do-or-die' against Lyon

Cristiano Ronaldo has branded tonight's Champions League last-16 return leg against Lyon at the Bernabeu a "do-or-die" affair.

Big-spending Madrid have failed to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament in each of the past five seasons and need to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit if they are to buck that trend.

Ronaldo's arrival at Madrid for a world-record £80m fee last summer epitomised the extraordinary lengths Madrid are prepared to go to in the pursuit of success, and failure to improve on the efforts of recent campaigns would be viewed in a dim light in the Spanish capital.

But the Portugal winger, a Champions League winner with Manchester United in 2008, insists Madrid have what it takes to progress.



convinced

"Tonight's match is do-or-die," said Ronaldo, the competition's top scorer this season with six goals so far. "We are playing very good football and we have proven that we are the strongest team in La Liga.

"We are familiar with Lyon. They are a strong team physically speaking, but it's our turn to play at home. I am convinced that this team will respond and that we will make it through to the next round."

Manuel Pellegrini's troops failed to find top gear in the first leg at Stade Gerland but their form in La Liga has been different, with Saturday's thrilling 3-2 win over Sevilla sparking delirium at the Bernabeu and taking Madrid to the top of the table.

Madrid have concerns over the fitness of Karim Benzema, meaning Gonzalo Higuain should get the nod up front, while Xabi Alonso and Marcelo are both suspended and Royston Drenthe is a doubt. Lyon also have injury problems with Brazil international Michel Bastos ruled out with a strain.

REAL MADRID v LYON,

LIVE SETANTA IRL & SKY SPORTS 1 (KO 7.45)

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