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Rising star Asensio can make his mark for holders

Real star Marco Asensio scored in last year's Champions League final
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Group H
BT Sport Extra, 7.45pm Wednesday

Giants Real Madrid became the first team to successfully defend their Champions League crown and the holders should get their 2017-18 campaign off to a winning start by crushing Cypriot champions Apoel.

Zinedine Zidane's troops started last season's group stages slowly - they twice drew with Borussia Dortmund and were surprisingly held on their trip to Legia Warsaw - but they are a formidable force in Europe and, with Tottenham and Dortmund to come, a lively start is imperative.


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Madrid will be missing the services of Karim Benzema but talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who has missed four matches through suspension, returns and the hosts should run out ready winners.

Los Blancos scored 19 times in their six Champions League home games last term and rising star Marco Asensio, who notched a brace in the 2-2 league draw at home to Valencia, can make an impact.

Recommendation
M Asensio to score at any time
1pt Evs general

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Real Madrid
Karim Benzema is out and defender Raphael Varane is a doubt.

Apoel
Zhivko Milanov, George Efrem, Facundo Bertoglio are sidelined. 

Key stat
Real Madrid have scored eight goals in their two previous meetings with Apoel.


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Rising star Asensio notched a brace in the 2-2 league draw at home to Valencia
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