Real Madrid vs Schalke Live Stream Free: Watch Champions League Online (Start Time, Preview)

Real Madrid vs Schalke in the Champions League will take place on Wednesday night, with the Spanish La Liga league leaders hoping to claim a win to take with them back to Spain for the return second leg in a few weeks.

Today's game from Germany will start at 2.45 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).

(Photo: Reuters/file)Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring their second goal against Barcelona in this file photo.

A huge boost for Real is that Cristiano Ronaldo is back and available for tonight's game following a three match suspension. The Real star player was shown a red card on Feb. 2 against Athletic Bilbao, and went on to miss the last three games.

One very hopeful sign for Real though, is that in Ronaldo's absence, Gareth Bale was on fire, scoring twice in the three games Ronaldo was missing for. With Bale and Ronaldo in excellent form, this could be a tough night for Schalke's defense.

Schalke coach Jens Keller did not sound optimistic ahead of the game: "We'll need a little miracle. It'll be difficult but we're not going into it to exchange jerseys."

The German team currently lie fourth in the German Bundesliga, and are a massive 21 points from the top of the table, where Bayern Munich have already all but won the domestic league title.

However, one good sign for the German team is that Real Madrid have often struggled when playing in Germany. The Spanish side have lost 18 of 25 games in Germany, and last year were destroyed 4-1 in the Champions League semi-final when playing Borussia Dortmund on the road.

Amazingly they have won only once when playing away to a German team – in the 2000 to 2001 season they defeated Bayern Leverkusen 3-2.

Real Madrid against FC Schalke 04 will kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream by clicking here.