UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid vs Juventus preview


Real Madrid don't have too much to worry about ahead of Wednesday evening, when Serie A champions Juventus come to visit them at Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-finals clash. The Blancos produced an outstanding performance at Allianz Stadium in Turin last week and won the match 3-0, so Juventus would need to pull off a similar or better result in Madrid to qualify. Juventus did manage to win in Madrid back in 2008, when the two sides met in the group stage of the Champions League, the result was 2-0 with both goals scored by legendary forward Alessandro Del Piero.

Real Madrid have the qualification in the bag after the first-leg result, but they still have to be careful to avoid giving Juventus a way back into the tie. After the spectacular 3-0 victory in Turin, Real had the Madrid derby to play on Sunday but they failed to win it. The derby ended 1-1 as Antoine Griezmann made it all square after Cristiano Ronaldo had opened the scoring. Sergio Ramos is suspended for Wednesday's match, while Jesus Vallejo and Nacho are injury doubts for the home side.

Juventus were hoping for a better result in the first leg but in the end they had to admit that Real Madrid were vastly superior on that day. However, the Bianconeri will not give up easily and they are expected to push for an early goal that could give them at least a fighting chance for qualification. At the weekend they secured a 4-2 victory at last-placed Benevento and preserved their advantage at the top of the Serie A table. Paulo Dybala and Rodrigo Bentancur are suspended for the second leg, while Federico Bernardeschi and Andrea Barzagli are injury doubts.

Probable line-ups:

Real Madrid: Navas - Carvajal, Varane, Vallejo, Marcelo - Modric, Casemiro, Kroos - Isco - Benzema, Ronaldo

Juventus: Buffon - De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro - Pjanic, Khedira, Matuidi - Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic

My prediction: Real Madrid to win 2-1.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Real Madrid win - 1.64
Draw - 4.33
Juventus win - 5.25

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