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Real Madrid aiming for top spot in Group F

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To the final night of competition in the Group Stage at the UEFA Champions League. Reigning titleholders Real Madrid are sitting two points behind Dortmund in Pool F, but can push past the German club with a win at home.

And even though the Spanish giants have already qualified for the Round of 16, they still want to head into the next phase with the top spot out of their group.

For Real Madrid, it's always about striving to be number one, and in Group F of the UEFA Champions League, that spot currently belongs to Borussia Dortmund. But Zinedine Zidane's team will have a golden opportunity to surge into first place when they host the German side on Wednesday night, setting themselves up for a better draw in the Round of 16.

Los Blancos may be dealing with an unwanted distraction however, as a tax fraud investigation by a consortium of media outlets is rumored to involve prominent players across Europe, including Cristiano Ronaldo. The Spanish club has not issued a response to the speculation, but Sergio Ramos says it won't be an issue.

"This will not affect the spirit of the players or the group. I am very calm, in that sense, because everything that I earned is on the table. Not just football players, but everybody in their professions can do or think whatever they want, and that has to be respected," said Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid defender.

"It is a sensible issue, but in my opinion, it won't affect our performance. Some of the reports might be true, but some could be false, aimed at destabilizing the group."

Meanwhile in Pool E, second place Bayer Leverkusen will host leaders Monaco, while third ranked Tottenham Hotspur entertain CSKA Moscow, and the headlining showdown between the La Liga and Bundesliga powerhouses in Block F, is bookended by Legia Warsaw taking on Sporting CP.

Old Lady can wrap up spot with victory against Dinamo Zagreb

The imperative for Juventus is very clear -- win -- and they're in. The Serie A standard bearers hold a one-point edge at the top of Group H, but have no plans to leave anything to chance, as they host Dinamo Zagreb in their stage finale.

Even though the Old Lady of Italian Football smashed the Croatian representatives 4-NIL when they matched up back in September, Massimiliano Allegri and his squad are not assuming a similar performance is on the horizon in this return fixture, and are determined to head into the Round of 16 in possession of the top spot, which would assure a better draw in the next phase of the continental competition.

"My feeling is the same that the rest of the squad -- we would prefer placing first. Therefore in this game, we have a match that we want to win, and we want to get first," said Claudio Marchisio, Juventus Midfielder.

"Then we wait until Monday's draw. We will wait for the results of these two evening matches, and then we will see who takes first, and who is second."

The action in Pool G features second ranked Porto entertaining table toppers Leicester, while bottom side Brugge welcome Copenhagen. And in addition to the Juve-DZ clash in Block H, Lyon will try to overtake number two Sevilla, bouncing the three-time defending Europa League champs back into that event, yet again.


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