Lucas Silva’s inclusion is the headline team news for Real Madrid tonight as they kick off their Champions League last-16 tie against Schalke.

The Brazilian, a €15m January arrival from Cruzeiro, has been given the nod in central midfield ahead of Asier Illarramendi, who is only good enough for the substitutes’ bench.

Elsewhere, Pepe makes his long-awaited return to the Madrid XI at Veltins-Arena, replacing Nacho at the back, having recovered from a rib injury, which had kept him sidelined for a month.

Madrid faced Schalke at the same stage of the Champions League last season and eventually progressed to the quarter-finals, courtesy of a 9-2 aggregate victory.

If you can’t get to a television set tonight, then be sure to follow the match with us on our LIVE blog from 19:30 GMT!

Schalke: Wellenreuther; Nastasic, Matip, Howedes; Uchida; Hoger, Neustadter, Boateng, Aogo; Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar

Subs: Wetklo, Fuchs, Ayhan, Kirchhoff, Meyer, Barnetta, Platte

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo; Silva, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo

Subs: Navas, Arbeloa, Nacho, Illarramendi, Medran, Chicharito, Jese

Referee: Atkinson [ENG]

Tags Schalke