Juventus Vs Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League 2013-2014: Scouting Juventus (Vol. II)

Valerio Pennicino

Real Madrid will visit a desperate Juventus squad that needs the win to stay in the fight for a spot in the Round of 16.

After losing 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu, Antonio Conte's Juventus managed to get three wins in a row -Genoa, Catania, Parma-. They're still sloppy, but if they want to stay in the Champions League, they need to get the three points against Real Madrid.

A 1-1 draw against Copenhaguen and a last-minute goal by Umut Bulut that set a 2-2 draw against Galatasaray. They now face a tough week with a must-win match against Real Madrid and a big Sunday clash against Rafa Benítez's Napoli.

Lichsteiner, Quagliarella and Simone Pepe will be out of tomorrow's match. The Swiss defender is one of Conte's key players, and the coach will now have to choose his right back out of Marco Motta, Martín Cáceres and Mauricio Isla. While Cáceres played really well at the Bernabéu, he's not as reliable as Lichsteiner offensively. In fact, he was a center back both for Barcelona and Recreativo de Huelva. So he would probably be a good defensive back, but Conte's system requires good contributions from both wing backs.

Still, Juventus played with a 4-4-2 with Pogba on the left and Marchisio on the right. That's not common when analyzing the Italian team, so Conte might try to use his trademark formation again.

With Chiellini suspended after the red card he saw at the Bernabéu, Juventus will be short-handed at the center back position. If Conte is to deploy a three-man defensive line, Ogbonna, Barzagli and Bonucci will likely be Juventus' starters, with Cáceres and Asamoah on the flanks.

Marchisio, Pirlo and Vidal should be Juventus' midfielders, but considering Pirlo's form Conte might want to protect him with Paul Pogba. If that's Conte's plan, Tévez has a good chance of facing Real's center backs.

Juventus have a fine roster and a cohesive team, but it could be argued that they have lost the hanger needed to fight for some manageable titles. The Champions League should be the club's top priority. Unluckily enough for them, all three bad results against Copenhaguen, Galatasaray and Real Madrid. It would be a failure not to qualify for the Round of 16 after winning two Scudetti in a row and losing helplessly against Bayern Munich in the 2012-2013 Champions League Quarterfinals.

By adding Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tévez and with Pogba's improvement as a player, La Vecchia Signora should only aim for European glory. But if they don't beat Real Madrid at their own Juventus Stadium and Galatasaray get the three points at Copenhaguen, their Champions League adventure might be on the line.


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