Real Madrid vs Juventus – Wednesday, April 11, 19:45BST/20:45CEST – Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain.
No team has ever been able to overcome a 3-0 home defeat to move to the next round of the Champions League. Juventus, however, are refusing to give up and Juventus head coach Max Allegri told the media “we are a wounded lion, who hasn’t been hunted down yet.”
It is true that football is full of sensations, but it is unlikely that Juventus will turn around the result at the Bernabéu. As a result, this could be the end of an era for Juventus. Gigi Buffon will be playing his 160thmatch on Wednesday and it will be likely his last.
Buffon’s retirement could lead to a significant restructuring at the Italian record champion at the end of the season. Buffon will almost certainly retire, and Allegri might be moving on to another club and the Old Lady might be rebuilding the team in order to make another run at the Champions League title in the future.
Real in the meantime have a foot and a half in the next round of the tournament. Real have not been eliminated before the final of the tournament since 2015 and have since won two titles in a row. The result in the first leg now puts Real once again at the very front of the line to win the title.
Real Madrid vs Juventus – Players to look out for:
Cristiano Ronaldo #7 – Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo was once again written off but 19 goals in the last 13 La Liga games highlight that the Portuguese forward is once again hitting form when it matters the most. The 33-year-old has now scored 23 goals and five assists in 24 La Liga games. His numbers in the Champions League are even more impressive with 14 goals in nine Champions League matches including a stunning bicycle kick in the first leg that resulted in a standing ovation by the Juventus crowd.
Gonzalo Higuaín #9 – Juventus
Signed for an incredible €90 million in the summer of 2016 from league rivals Napoli Higuaín has long carried the stigma of not getting it done on the biggest stager. The Argentine scored both goals against Tottenham in the first leg but then missed the penalty that could have put the tie to bed. It appeared to be the usual story after all Higuaín had also missed big chances for Argentina at the 2014 World Cup final and two Copa America finals, but this time Higuaín was there when needed the most scoring one and assisting a second in the second leg against Tottenham to help his team advance.
Real Madrid vs Juventus – Match Stats
- This will be the teams’ 20th contest. The 19th took place at the National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff on 3 June 2017, Madrid running out 4-1 winners to claim a 12th European title.
- Juventus, however, have won the sides’ last four two-legged knockout ties, and were the last side to eliminate Madrid in the competition, beating them in the 2014/15 semi-finals.
- All 21 of the teams’ previous meetings have come in the European Cup, and there is virtually nothing between the sides. Last season’s final was Madrid’s ninth win in matches against the Bianconeri; Juve have eight victories with two draws. Both sides have scored 22 goals.
- Madrid have not beaten Juventus in a two-legged tie since the 1986/87 European Cup second round, when each side won their home leg 1-0. The Spanish side prevailed 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out after the Turin second leg.
- Ronaldo has hit the target in all six of his appearances against Juventus for Real Madrid – nine goals in all.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Real Madrid vs Juventus – 2-1
Real Madrid vs Juventus – Lineups
Navas – Marcelo, Hernández, Varane, Carvajal – Casemiro, Kroos – Asensio, Vazquez – Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema
Head Coach: Zinedine Zidane
Buffon – Alex Sandro, Chiellini, Barzagli, Lichtsteiner – Marchisio, Matuidi, Khedira – Mandžukić, Higuaín, Douglas Costa
Head Coach: Massimiliano Allegri
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth. Or contact him via email: [email protected]