Fernando Llorente was on the scoresheet against Real Madrid last month. Image courtesy of skysports.com
Juventus and Real Madrid meet for the second time in a fortnight on Wednesday morning (AEST), when the Serie A club hosts the La Liga giants in Turin. Real scored a 2-1 victory when the sides met at the Bernabéu last month courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo brace but Juve will be confident of reversing that result having won their past three fixtures without conceding a goal.
Juventus went into their most recent UEFA Champions League clash with the unbeaten Spanish club off the back of a League loss to Fiorentina but go into this match in better form, with a 1-0 victory at Parma on Saturday the third successive victory for the club. Paul Pogba bagged the winner in that match and is likely to feature for the Turin based club again, although defender Giorgio Chiellini is unavailable through suspension after being sent off early in the second half when the sides did battle in October. Andrea Barzagli is the most likely replacement at the heart of defence, having played 90 minutes against Madrid last time out as well as starting in the draw with Galatasaray a month ago.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid has won all three of its matches in the Champions League this season, scoring 12 goals in the process. The club has been red-hot in front of goal on the domestic front as well, with a 3-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday taking the clubs goal tally to ten from its past two fixtures. Asier Illarramendi, Sami Khedira and Gareth Bale all sat out Real’s match on the weekend but could feature against Juventus Stadium. Although this is just the fourth of six group stage matches in the competition, Real Madrid will more or less be assured of a place in the last sixteen if it collects three points.
Despite losing the last time these sides met, Juventus will be confident of a strong showing against Real given the clubs strong home record in previous fixtures between these sides. Juve has won on five occasions that they have met in Turin, tasting defeat just once.
Live on ESPN2 from 5.45am (AEST).
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