What: UEFA Champions League – Group B
Who: Juventus vs Real Madrid
When: Tuesday 5th November, 2013, at 19:45 UK Time
Where: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

In Need of a Result

Three games into the 2013/14 Champions League season, Juventus find themselves with just two points. Knowing that their efforts to qualify are in serious jeopardy, they will have to put their best foot forward should they want to erase the 2-1 defeat they suffered at the hands of Real Madrid a fortnight ago at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Juventus have won all their three games since last facing Real Madrid. Their good form has allowed them to gain confidence, but the team know they will need to be prepared for a tough battle against Los Blancos, according to Claudio Marchisio. 

“We must be careful of [Real] Madrid’s counter-attacks. Special consideration must be given to players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Gareth] Bale, who have amazing speed. Madrid have very strong players up front, but those players sometimes do little defensively. We know how to hurt them”, commented the Italian midfielder.

La Vecchia Signora will be buoyed by the fact that they have won the last four games in all competitions on home soil against Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Real Madrid are also below their best on the road and that could work in Juventus’ favour.

Defensive Suffering

If there is one thing Real Madrid have displayed in their past two games, it is defensive frailty; that has come hand in hand with attacking prowess. Having conceded seven goals in their last three games, Los Blancos know that concentration at the back is required should they want to go far in the domestic and European competition.

Despite being free-scoring in their last two games against Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano, Ancelotti was less than impressed with his side’s defensive displays. 

“Against Sevilla it could have been a coincidence, but [Saturday against Rayo Vallecano] is the second time. We have to change the attitude that we have on the pitch sometimes because a team of this quality cannot let our opposition back into a match that we’re winning 3-0", blasted the expert tactician.

While having a poor record in Italy against Juventus – having won just twice in Turin – the nine-time Champions League winners will be facing a Bianconeri side that have failed to win any of their last five games in the competition. Five points ahead of second-placed Galatasaray, Los Merengues will confirm qualification with a win in Italy.


Recent form

Juventus 2-0 Genoa (27/10; Serie A)
Juventus 4-0 Catania (30/10; Serie A)
Parma 0-1 Juventus (02/11; Serie A)

Real Madrid:
Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid (26/10; La Liga)
Real Madrid 7-3 Sevilla (30/10; La Liga)
Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Real Madrid (02/11; La Liga)

Key absences

Juventus: Fabio Quagliarella (doubt); Stephan Lichtsteiner; Mirko Vucinic; Simone Pepe; Giorgio Chiellini (suspended)

Real Madrid: Fabio Coentrao (doubt)

Players to watch

Juventus – Gianluigi Buffon: The Italian goalkeeper was at fault for Ronaldo’s opening goal the last time the two sides met. Buffon’s best days may be behind him, but he will have to be a key asset for the Bianconeri should they want to taste success against the Spaniards.

Real Madrid – Cristiano Ronaldo: There is no stopping the forward from scoring at the moment. His recent criticism from FIFA president Sepp Blatter ahead of the upcoming Ballon d’Or ceremony has only made him more determined to make his mark, and he will likely be on the scoresheet again.

Match Prediction

Juventus need to win as they have been disastrous so far this Champions League season. Thankfully for them, Real Madrid too have been abysmal in defence and that will prove to be an advantage. Los Blancos are still poor on the road and will not be able to overcome Juventus on the night. Expect a 1-1 draw.

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