After a 5-1 demolition in Madrid, Legia Warsaw host Cristiano's crew at home, where they lost 6-0 to Dortmund in their Champions League opener. We could of course, try to convince ourselves that this match will be any different, but that would be dishonest and patronizing. Legia sit in sixth in Poland and are one of three teams yet to pick up a point in the group stage. Cristiano got his hat-trick over the weekend and the Champions League's all-time leading scorer will expect more of the same in Warsaw. A big win could see Real move top of the group over Dortmund on goal difference.
Legia Warsaw are back in the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96 when they reached the quarterfinals. Formed as the official club of the Polish Army, they’ll be sporting army green away kits when they visit the Bernabeu. Last season, the eventual Polish champions were led by Hungarian striker Nemanja Nikolić, who scored 28 league goals last campaign. While it’s unlikely they’ll get out of the group, Legia’s average attendance is more than double the Polish league average, so expect noisy welcomes for European giants Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.
The record-holding 11 time winners will defend their current trophy without the usual summertime Galactico business. But, when your squad includes the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema, finally finding consistency is a positive. We have yet to see Zinedine Zidane take a full season at the helm with all the pressure the toughest gig in management provides - how he responds to turbulent times will determine the length of his tenure. The expectations for this squad are the same as every season: win every trophy they compete for. With their aforementioned attacking prowess bolstered by a reliable defense, they could do just that.
Scored 28 goals in 37 league matches in his first season at Legia Warsaw.
The journeyman keeper is a consistent presence in a heavily rotated Warsaw squad.