File this under 'things that don't seem fair'*. Real Madrid travel to Cyprus in order to take on APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League quarterfinals. Yeah, that's the same Real Madrid who are well clear of the supposed best team in the world in their domestic championship against a team that, until this season, had done approximately nothing on the European stage. Oh, and they're third in the Cypriot League to boot.
*Assuming you have a filing system for football matches, which makes you weird. Weirdo.
Then again, all of APOEL's previous matches have been filed under 'things that don't seem fair', and frankly that hasn't seemed to matter very much. Lyon were dismissed after a penalty shootout in the first knockout round. Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk were dumped out during the group stages. APOEL is a team that, for now at least, don't appear to be taking 'no' for any sort of answer.
But then again, they haven't played a team like Madrid, either. Yeah, the La Liga team hasn't been in the best of domestic form lately, but they rolled over Real Sociedad 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu last weekend and are, on paper, so much better than their opponents here that they might as well be on entirely different planets. APOEL boast a strong defence that isn't good enough to stop them conceding the most shots of any team playing in the tournament. Real Madrid boast world-class talent at every position.
The only real worry for Jose Mourinho's side is the absence of Xabi Alonso. That's not a major concern, however - all Madrid need to do is score an away goal and not lose by more than one, something that should be essentially trivial for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and company.
But, as far as APOEL is concerned, they've heard that all before.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, March 27, 2:45 p.m. ET, 9:45 p.m. local
Venue: GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus.
TV: FOX Sports Net (USA), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 4 (UK)
For more on Los Blancos, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.