Decisive Champions League match for Real Madrid. With the Liga BBVA title hopes decreasing week in and week out, Los Blancos need to concentrate on the European competition if they want to improve their chances at conquering silverware this season.
Juventus is in the way, though. They are in the semifinals for the first time in a while and they are looking to take advantage from Real Madrid's defensive problems since the year 2015 started. The Italian team will also be happy about Luka Modric and Karim Benzema missing the game with injuries, but they have some problems on their own with midfielder Paul Pogba, who will try to make it to the return leg just like Karim Benzema.
It's fair to state that Juventus have more things to prove. After all, Real Madrid just knocked the reigning Liga BBVA champions out of the competition thanks to that game-winning goal by Chicharito, while Juventus prevailed against Dortmund in the Round of 16 and Monaco in the Quarterfinals.
Juventus just conquered the Serie A title this last weekend, meaning that they will be able to fully concentrate on this Champions League tie, something that could be very valuable given that Real Madrid will host Valencia next Saturday in what will surely be a tough game for Los Blancos.
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Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 8 p.m. CET, 2 p.m. EST.
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Spain
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Marchisio, Pirlo, Vidal; Pereyra; Morata, Tévez.
• Out: Asamoah (knee), Cáceres (ankle), Marrone (thigh), Pogba (hamstring), Rômulo (groin)
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; James, Kroos, Ramos, Isco; Bale, Ronaldo.
• Out: Modrić (knee), Benzema (knee)
It's going to be an even game. We had a lot of possession against Atlético [in the quarters] but like us, Juve are a side who like a lot of possession. The most important thing is to play the best we can and show our quality. We want to attack and we're preparing to play an attacking game, but we're going to have to defend really well too.
It's a semi-final, they are champions of Europe so compared with us they could have a slightly better chance; but it's not a semi-final where you can say we've got nothing to lose - we can lose the chance of being in the final. We've got to remember what we've done so far, that we have a chance, while not forgetting that we're up against very strong opponents.
Key players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carlos Tévez, Arturo Vidal (Juventus).
Prediction: Juventus 1-1 Real Madrid.
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