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UEFA Champions League

  • October 23, 2013
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: M. Gräfe
  • • Attendance: 77856
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Champions League Preview: Real Madrid - Juventus

Champions League Preview: Real Madrid - Juventus

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Antonio Conte's men, fresh from a devastating loss to Italian rival Fiorentina, need to pick up points at the Santiago Bernabeu after drawing their opening two European fixtures.

Juventus faces a tough ask in its bid to win its first Champions League match of the season when the club travels to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

In a meeting of two of the true giants of European football, the Italians will be desperate for a win that would keep them in second position in Group B.

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Antonio Conte's men have been held to 1-1 and 2-2 draws against Copenhagen and Galatasaray, respectively, and will enter the fixture off the back of a disappointing 4-2 loss at Fiorentina on Sunday.

First-half goals from Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba looked to have the Bianconeri side cruising, but Fiorentina – which was inspired by a hat trick from Giuseppe Rossi – scored four times in the last 25 minutes to inflict Juve's first defeat of the season.

Conte hopes his side can respond quickly and denied claims that it was focusing on Madrid in the build-up to the trip to Florence.

"We lost a game that we dominated for 70 minutes. We were home and dry and had more than one opportunity to score the third goal," the former Italy international said after the defeat. "I don't think our focus was already on Real Madrid, otherwise we would have got our overall approach wrong."

Defender Stephan Lichtsteiner (thigh) and midfielder Simone Pepe (thigh) have been ruled out of the fixture, and Juve's injury worries do not stop there, with strikers Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella (both thigh) also set to miss out.

Nine-time winner Madrid has won both of its Champions League fixtures this season, thrashing Galatasaray 6-1 before easing past Copenhagen 4-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five goals in those two matches, making him the competition's leading scorer.

The Portuguese star – who was top scorer last season with 12 goals – has now scored 24 goals in his last 20 Champions League appearances. Ronaldo's 56 career strikes in the competition also see him fourth in the all-time scorers' list.

World-record signing Gareth Bale has made just four appearances for Madrid since joining from Tottenham but returned from a thigh injury in the club's 2-0 win over Malaga on Saturday.

He is expected to feature against Juve, while midfielder Xabi Alonso has returned to training following a broken foot.

The match will come too soon for Alonso but the news of his return will be a significant boost for the Blancos, who can move a step closer to qualification for the Round of 16 with another victory.

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
12MarceloDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
24Asier IllarramendiMidfielder
7Cristiano RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
5Fabio CoentraoDefender
15Daniel CarvajalDefender
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23IscoMidfielder
21MorataStriker
1Gianluigi BuffonGoalkeeper
3Giorgio ChielliniDefender
5Angelo OgbonnaDefender
15Andrea BarzagliDefender
4Martín CáceresDefender
6Paul PogbaMidfielder
8Claudio MarchisioMidfielder
21Andrea PirloMidfielder
23Arturo VidalMidfielder
10Carlos TévezStriker
14Fernando Llorente Striker
30Marco StorariGoalkeeper
-Federico PelusoDefender
19Leonardo BonucciDefender
20Simone PadoinMidfielder
22Kwadwo AsamoahMidfielder
33Mauricio IslaDefender
12Sebastian GiovincoStriker

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