Juventus v Real Madrid Preview

UEFA Champions League | Tuesday 05 November | Juventus Stadium | 21:45





Two of Europe's biggest clubs meet for a second time in two weeks on Tuesday night as Juventus host Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu finished in Real's favour as Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half brace proved to be enough for the victory against a Juve side that had Giorgio Chiellini sent off early in the second half.

Since that defeat, Juve have won three straight games in Serie A without conceding a goal. That victory took them six points clear at the top of the group and if they beat Juve, then they will all but guarantee a place in the last 16.

To Win (90mins)
Juventus 14/10
Draw 24/10
Real Madrid 18/10


JUVENTUS

Juventus' UEFA Champions League hopes hang by a thread going into Tuesday's showdown with Group B leaders Real Madrid.

Antonio Conte's men managed just two points from their opening three games and, with second-placed Galatasaray facing rock-bottom Copenhagen, a home defeat to Real could leave them five points adrift of a qualification spot for the last 16.

But Conte, who saw his side lose 2-1 at the Bernabeu, believes the home fans can make the difference.

In a perfect world, Juventus probably wouldn't have to face one of the best teams in Europe right now. They'd be going up against one of Serie A's relegation battlers, at home in front of a Juventus Stadium crowd that is supporting them in full voice. It would be, safe to say, the right kind of cure to what is currently the problem(s).

Turns out, though, the world ain't perfect. And neither is this Juventus side right now. Far from it.

Juventus travel to Madrid as a team that is far from its best. Even before Juventus' 4-2 loss to Fiorentina two weeks ago, things weren't resembling the Juventus of old under Antonio Conte. But the thing that Giuseppe Rossi & Friends did was only confirm that this Juventus team, right now, isn't up to the lofty standards they have put upon themselves. Things aren't right, and it's safe to say that everybody knows it.

Conte's men will be the underdogs. There's no denying that. And even if his squad was playing a lot better than they were right now, Conte seems perfectly okay with being the team that people are betting against. With that comes the ability to use it as a motivational factor, one that (hopefully) is something that this team can get to snap out of this funk.

Or maybe just that fact that they're playing Real Madrid is enough. If not, maybe they're in the wrong line of work and things could look a lot like the last time Juve played one of Europe's fellow giants.

REAL MADRID

Two of the most expensive players in the history of the game could very well be two of Juventus' biggest

worries defensively.

We all know about Ronaldo's dominance in the Champions League since he arrived in Madrid — as well as the vast majority of his career — as he's scored goals in bunches. It's no different this season, scoring five goals already in the group stages. That's pretty, uh, impressive.

Then there's Bale, who was involved in Madrid's victory over the weekend against Rayo Vallecano. Say whatever you want about his pricetag that allowed him to move to Spain, but there's one thing for certain: Bale is really, really good at what he does, and when things click with Ronaldo, Madrid will be even that much more potent offensively.

Iker Casillas is will replace Diego Lopez between the sticks for the away side, while Sergio Ramos and Pepe are expected to start in central defence. However, the match has probably come too soon for Xabi Alonso, despite the Spaniard returning to first-team training last week.

Victory against a Real side that has reached the semi-finals in each of the last three seasons would signal Juve's intent, but Carlo Ancelotti's charges represent a substantial challenge to overcome.

The 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to take his season's tally to 22 in all competitions, came on the heels of a 7-3 triumph over Sevilla, underlining the visitors' goalscoring threat.

Ronaldo scored both goals in the meeting between the two sides in Spain, moving him into third in the competition's all-time scorers list.

The Portuguese is six shy of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and 15 short of overhauling Real legend Raul, who has 71.

Ancelotti's side will secure their place in the knockout stages if they are to win here.



Betting Verdict: REAL MADRID 18/10
Real Madrid seem to be at their best in the Champions League so far this season and shouldn’t have problems overpowering and securing the ticket for the next stage against Juventus. With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, Juventus will surely struggle to contain them especially with their main centre back Giorgio Chiellini unavailable due to suspension.


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