Despite being Serie A giants, Juventus are stuck with an ironical ‘David Versus Goliath’ task to overcome as they seek to overturn a three-goal deficit away from home at the Santiago Bernabeu. They have to deny La Liga behemoths Real Madrid a chance to appear in a third consecutive Champions League semi-final, when these two meet in a continental quarter-final bout on Wednesday.
Zinedine Zidane’s squad head into the tie with their legs firmly up on the cushion. A Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass in Turin has nearly sealed Los Blancos’ passage to the semi-final.
The only absentee for the reigning champions will be Sergio Ramos who’s suspended for the tie. He should be replaced by Nacho, who’ll partner Varane in central defence in front of Keylor Navas. Marcelo and Dani Carvajal will provide the team sustenance in the left and right-back slots respectively.
Midfield will contain the ever influential Casemiro alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos with the former sitting deeper. Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will helm attack but it’ll be interesting to note who starts between Gareth Bale and Isco.
If Bale does get a look in, expect him to spear the home team on the right wing. Isco will be chosen if Zidane needs more creativity through the middle of the park.
Massimiliano Allegri takes his Juventus squad to the Spanish capital with his hands all but tied behind his back. Paulo Dybala and Rodrigo Bentacur are both suspended for the tie.
This will leave Gonzalo Higuain alone up top, with Douglas Costa for support. Miralem Pjanic should start this tie despite missing out the last time due to suspension, while Sami Khedira will return to the team.
Expect Blaise Matiuidi or Claudio Marchisio to be shovelled into midfield as well. Juan Cuadrado could be awarded with a starting spot too. In defence, Mehdi Benatia could get a look in along side Giorgio Chiellini.
Juve will be raring to give it a go right from the opening whistle, yet Ronaldo and Madrid are lethal and will be keen to ensure Buffon and company’s wait for a Champions League title goes on.