UCL: Odds stacked against Juventus

After the 3-0 mauling it suffered in the first leg, Juventus will have to pull a rabbit out of its hat to claim a last-four berth when it takes on Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal clash at the Santiago Bernebau on Wednesday.

Europe’s elite: Real Madrid had little difficulty in making it to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.   -  AFP

After the 3-0 mauling it suffered in the first leg, Juventus will have to pull a rabbit out of its hat to claim a last-four berth when it takes on Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal clash at the Santiago Bernebau on Wednesday.

The Italian side looked shabby in defence in the first leg and was undone by moments of brilliance from five-time Ballon d'Or award winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who unleashed a spectacular bicycle kick that earned him a rousing round of applause from the home crowd.

Wednesday's clash could be Massimiliano Allegri's final Champions League game in charge of Juve, with reports linking the Italian to a possible move to Chelsea.

Team news
Real will be without captain Sergio Ramos due to an accumulation of cards, while Nacho Fernandez is also unlikely to play as he continues to recover from a thigh injury.

Juve already has a mountainous task ahead and to make matters worse, it will be deprived of the services of star striker Paulo Dybala, who picked up a red card in the first leg.Allegri's side will also be without Rodrigo Bentancur, as he is serving a one-game suspension.

Possible line-ups
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas (GK), Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Luca Modric, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale Isco; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

 

Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon (GK), Stephan Lichsteiner, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Kwadwo Asamoah, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi, Douglas Costa, Alex Sandro, Mario Mandzukic, Gonzalo Higuain

Stats

  • The first leg defeat was Juve's first loss in all competitions since November and a first at home to Madrid in Europe since 1962.
  • No team has ever overturned a 3-0 home defeat in the Champions League.
     

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