PARIS (AFP) – Real Madrid fans would be forgiven for focusing all their attention on club icon Raul on Wednesday as the club host a mouth-watering clash between the nine-times European champions and AC Milan.
With his 65 goals still leading the way in Europe's premier club competition, Raul made a little piece of history on Saturday when his 711th game for Real made him the club's all-time leading appearance holder.
To top beating legendary Real defender Manolo Sanchis's record of 710 games, Raul also scored twice in the 4-2 defeat of Valladolid.
And no-one would bet against him stretching his European record on Wednesday when Real Leonardo's Milan side - seven-times winners of the trophy - visit the Santiago Bernabeu.
Milan will arrive in the Spanish capital with a desire to return in May 2010, when Real's stadium hosts the final.
And the Italian giants should be in buoyant mood having claimed a valuable come-from-behind 2-1 win at home to Roma on Saturday - only the third time this season in 10 matches Milan had scored more than a single goal.
"This win is worth a lot more than three points," said Leonardo, who hailed the "incredible spirit" of his team on Sunday.
Real, with six points from two games and well within sight of gaining early qualification to the knockout round, will be giving nothing away for free.
And defender Sergio Ramos has called for his side to step up against what he called an impressive opponent.
"It is time to see Real Madrid's true colours against an opponent that has won a lot of European Cups and who we really respect," he said.
Raul, typically, played down his personal achievements as he looked forward to his 712th appearance for the club.
"I am thinking about Wednesday as we have another important European game (against AC Milan) and we have to prepare for it," said Raul.
Elsewhere in Group C Marseille have no choice but to beat FC Zurich at the Velodrome if they are to salvage a winless, and point-less, campaign so far.
After defeats to Milan (1-2) and Real (0-3) Didier Deschamps' side are propping up the table, with even Zurich - minnows in comparative terms - sitting second on three points.
Bordeaux have a far better chance of finishing among the top two and joining the first knockout round.
|Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm (right) and Juventus' Claudio Marchisio vie for the ball during their UEFA Champions League group A football match in Munich, on September 30. Bayern Munich play Bordeaux on Wednesday while Juventus face Maccabi Haifa (AFP file)|
But despite a positive start to Group A with four points from two games, Bordeaux host Bayern Munich in something of an identity crisis.
Amid their search for the goals that strike duo Yoann Gourcuff and Marouane Chamakh were knocking in regularly in August, Bordeaux suffered their first defeat of the league campaign, against Auxerre, on Saturday.
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has opted not to risk Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who injured his knee in the scoreless draw at home to Juventus on October 1.
Juventus will be looking forward to claiming their first win of Group A when they host basement side Maccabi Haifa in Turin.
Like Real, Manchester United and Chelsea are looking to make it three wins out of three when they face CSKA Moscow and Atletico Madrid respectively.
CSKA have three points from two games having been beaten at Wolfsburg and then beating Besiktas 2-1 at home.
United would normally be confident of winning in Moscow but they will be missing five key players in midfielders Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher and Park Ji-Sung, defender Patrice Evra and striker Wayne Rooney.
Giggs and Evra picked up injuries olaying against Bolton.