UCL Preview: Juventus vs Real Madrid

Juventus and Real Madrid go head to head in their Champions League quarter-final first leg clash on Tuesday in a replay of the 2016/17 final.

Zinedine Zidane’s men were the winners when the two sides met in Cardiff last May, beating the Serie A side 4-1 to win a record 12th European trophy.

Real Madrid are targeting a third successive Champions League title with their La Liga campaign stalling, but Zidane dismissed any talk of comparisons with last year’s victory against Juventus.

“This has nothing to do with happened 10 months ago,” he told reporters. “What happened has happened, but now we have to think about this game and make sure we play well tomorrow,” he said ahead of their quarter-final first leg tie.

“We mustn’t think about that or other matches against Juventus because it doesn’t mean anything.”

Juventus manager Max Allegri said: “We want to build an advantage to then take to Madrid. Therefore, to score and not concede would be the ideal scenario. We need to play like we did in the first half in Cardiff (where at half-time the score was 1-1), but to maintain that level throughout the tie.”

Juventus are currently on a 27-game unbeaten run at home in the Champions League (W16 D11), last losing in April 2013 against Bayern Munich (0-2), and were the last team to knock out Real Madrid in the competition, doing so in the 2014/15 semi-finals.

Team news

Real Madrid will be without defender Nacho for the trip to Italy after he picked up a thigh strain against Las Palmas on Saturday.

Isco and Sergio Ramos missed the trip to Gran Canaria at the weekend with minor knocks but should be back in contention this week.

Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia are both suspended for the first leg, with Allegri still weighing up his options for their replacements.

Claudio Marchisio and Rodrigo Bentancur are in contention to replace Pjanic in midfield while Andrea Barzagli or Daniele Rugani will come into the backline in place of Benatia.

Alex Sandro is also a doubt after picking up an injury on international duty, while Giorgio Chiellini and Juan Cuadrado are expected to be fit.

Opta stats

This will be the 20th meeting between these two clubs in European competition, with all 19 previous games being in the Champions League or European Cup. Real Madrid have won nine times, Juventus eight times and there have been two draws.

These two clubs last met in the 2016-17 Champions League final in Cardiff, with Real Madrid prevailing 4-1 to pick up their record 12th European Cup/Champions League title.

Real Madrid will be looking to progress to the Champions League semi-finals for the 13th time – their 12 appearances at that stage are already a record.

Juventus have previously made it through to the Champions League semi-finals on seven occasions, which is a record for an Italian club.

Juventus lost their first-ever European home meeting with Real Madrid (0-1 in February 1962), but have won six and drawn one of their seven home games versus the Spanish giants since.

Source:  Skysports

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