Benitez eyes win as Real Madrid kick off Champions League campaign

Madrid, Sep 14 (IANS) After whitewashing Espanyol 6-0 in La Liga, coach Rafael Benitez is looking for improvements when Real Madrid kick off their Champions League campaigh on Tuesday at home against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

Benitez will make some changes to the side that defeated Espanyol, with Tony Kroos and perhaps Rafael Varane coming into the side with Pepe and Casimiro given a rest, reports Xinhua.

“Rotating the squad is not a luxury it is something you do to get the best of the squad,” explained Benitez, who had words for Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored five goals at the weekend.

“He is an excellent player and one of the best I have worked with. I am not going to say he is the best, because I have worked with a lot of very good player. But at the moment, he is the best in the world,” said the Real Madrid coach.

As well as scoring 11 goals in two games, Benitez’s side has also kept three clean sheets in their start to the La Liga campaign, but he is looking for more as they kick off their campaign for an 11th Champions League.

“We have to get close to being 100% effective when we attack or counter-attack and we have to do the same in defense. But I look at the willingness of the players to work hard and that helps me stay calm,” he commented.

Real Madrid are not the only Spanish side in Champions League action on Tuesday night as Atletico Madrid face a trip to Turkey to face Galatasaray and Sevilla make their debut at home to Borussia Monchengladbach.

With Manchester City and Juventus also in their group, which is probably the most tough of the eight, Sevilla know they need to take points all of their home matches, starting with the Germans who look as if they are the most easy opponents in the group.

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