Real Madrid saw their flawless home record ended at the weekend and Tottenham Hotspur aim to become the latest side to win at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday.
Jose Mourinho watched on as his 150-match unbeaten Spanish league home record was surprisingly ended by Gijon and Madrid must dust themselves off for the Tottenham clash.
Real have the better pedigree having won the European Cup a record nine times, while Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has never come out on top against Mourinho when the two pitted their wits against each other in the Premier League, although Mourinho was at big-spending Chelsea.
“He (Mourinho) has beaten me the five teams that I have faced him, but Chelsea beat everyone and don’t forget I was with Portsmouth,” said Redknapp.
Tottenham start as underdogs but can take heart from their 1-0 win at AC Milan in the last round and the fact that Madrid have lost their last two Champions League knockout matches against English opposition, crashing out at the last 16 stage to Arsenal in 2006 and then Liverpool in 2009.
Mourinho will sweat on injury concerns to Brazilian full back Marcelo, French forward Karim Benzema and star man Cristiano Ronaldo.
The absence of top-scorer Ronaldo, struggling with a hamstring injury, is the biggest concern and Mourinho said the two would sit down and decide if they should gamble on his fitness against Tottenham.
“If he (Ronaldo) has a chance to play, it’s because he and his coach are taking a risk,” said Mourinho.
“The information from the medical department is that he can’t play and that he can only play in Athletic Bilbao. I will talk with the injured players and decided if we will risk them.”
Redknapp believes Ronaldo and company will play and he has his own injury concerns with star Welsh winger Gareth Bale in doubt.
Bale has been sidelined with a niggling hamstring strain and missed the 0-0 draw with Wigan on Saturday as a precautionary measure.
“I am very hopeful over Gareth (Bale),” said Redknapp, “The feeling was if he had played at Wigan he might have cramped up on his hamstring. So we rested him and hopefully he will be okay.”