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article imageRonaldo returns for Real, Draxler in for Schalke

By AFP     Feb 26, 2014 in World

Real Madrid welcomed back Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo from a three-match suspension for their Champions League last 16, first-leg tie at Schalke 04 on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old has been suspended for the last three Spanish league matches and he will be looking to add to his stunning record of 34 goals in 32 matches.

Ronaldo returns on the left wing as part of a powerful Real attack alongside France's Karim Benzema and Wales winger Gareth Bale.

Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos also return to Carlo Ancelotti's Real side after missing Saturday's La Liga win over Elche FC.

The Royal Blues of Schalke welcomed back Germany's rising attacking midfield star Julian Draxler, who was heavily linked to Arsenal over the winter break.

The 20-year-old makes his first start after two months out with injury, while Schalke skipper Benedkit Hoewedes returns at right-back after a hamstring injury and will be marking Ronaldo.

Draxler starts on the left of an attacking midfield trident alongside teenage star Max Meyer while Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar makes his Champions League return after a knee injury.

Starting line-ups in the Champions League last 16, first leg match between Schalke 04 and Real Madrid at the Veltins Arena on Wednesday:

Schalke 04 (4-2-3-1)

Ralf Faehrmann; Benedikt Hoewedes, Joel Matip, Felipe Santana, Sead Kolasinac; Kevin-Prince Boateng, Roman Neustaedter; Jefferson Farfan, Max Meyer, Julian Draxler, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Real Madrid (4-3-3)

Iker Casillas; Daniel Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Xabi Alonso, Angel Di Maria; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)

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