Zinedine Zidane does not believe playing Legia Warsaw behind closed doors benefits Real Madrid.
Madrid will avoid having to cope with Legia’s notoriously partisan supporters after UEFA ruled Wednesday’s Champions League game should be played behind closed doors due to numerous disturbances that marred the game with Borussia Dortmund in September.
Victory in Poland could put Madrid through to the knockout stages – depending on the result of the other Group F fixture between Borussia Dortmund and Sporting CP – but Zidane insists an empty stadium will not help his side reach their goal.
“It doesn’t give us any advantage,” he told a news conference. “I would always prefer to have a crowd there, even away from home. We will prepare in the same way, the only thing that really matters to me is the three points.
“I just want the players to be thinking about the importance of the game, nothing else.”
Legia have yet to take a point from their three pool matches, but Zidane is certainly not underestimating the hosts.
“I think we’ll have a difficult game against a good side,” he said.
“Perhaps they haven’t had too much luck in their results but they can make things difficult and score at any minute.
“We respect them and we’ll try to put together the best match possible to ensure we win the game.”
Madrid have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last nine games and Zidane admits their defensive sloppiness is a minor concern.
He said: “In most games the opposition is scoring one goal against us, at least.
“Even in the cup game – against Cultural Leonesa – we conceded a goal at the end.
“It always bothers you but in football you can’t always control everything, there’s always an opponent and they can play well.”