The ancient city of Rome is going to play host to a match that will, hopefully, answer many questions for fans of both Real Madrid and AS Roma. The Spaniards and Italians square off in the Champions League round of 16, hoping to turn around disappointing first halves of their seasons that saw each team replace the managers they started the year with.
Zinedine Zidane is one of the greatest Champions League players ever, but we have no idea how he'll do as a Champions League manager yet for Madrid. Roma are still regaining their feet after appointing Luciano Spalletti after the frustrating end of Rudi Garcia's tenure, and their team is untested for a situation like this. There are so many questions surrounding this match, and no answers will be obvious until the final whistle blows.
Key player — James Rodriguez (Real Madrid)
Madrid will need James to be at his tricky playmaking best, especially with Gareth Bale still out injured. He has the ability to take over a match and dominate it himself, even though he hasn't always shown that ability this season. Still, he's been much improved of late, and Roma don't have a player who, on paper at least, appear to be even a remotely good matchup to try to keep him at bay. If he runs as rampant as it looks like he can in this match, Roma are in a deep pile of trouble.
Key question — How ready is Zinedine Zidane?
Since Zidane took over as manager, Real Madrid have been more impressive than not under his guidance, but they've been far from the dominant force their fans hope to see in most of their matches. Now they face their greatest test since Zidane took over, and it's not clear at all how ready he is for the challenge just yet. Zidane has plenty of experience in high-pressure matches of great magnitude as a player, but he has no experience managing those matches. If he's not ready, then his team won't be ready — and this match won't go well at all for Real Madrid.
AS Roma injuries and suspensions
Out: None In doubt: Daniele De Rossi (calf), Francesco Totti (calf)
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Gareth Bale (calf), Pepe (foot) In doubt: Marcelo (shoulder)
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S. - English), Fox Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), TSN 1, 5, RDS (Canada), PremiumSport HD (Italy), beIN Sports Spain (Spain), BT Sport Europe (U.K.)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go, Fox Sports Go (U.S.), beIN Sports Connect SP (Spain), BT Sport Live Streaming (U.K.)