It is Juventus playing host to 12 time winners of the competition Real Madrid at the Juventus stadium today and the Old Ladies are looking for a revenge after that pummeling the last time the two sides met.
Cristiano Ronaldo wrote his name all over that tie with a brace. Casemiro and Marco Asensio added goals of their own to make it a largely one sided 4-1 score line.
Mario Mandzukic scored a beauty to initially bring the match level in Cardiff but it was not enough to deny Madrid’s duodecima. They will now face off again in a two legged tie starting from today to decide who goes to the semis.
Will the Bianconeri have their revenge or will Los Blancos march on to the next round in search of their 13th title?
In this preview, we will take a look at records and form of both sides, injuries, suspensions, potential lineups, the danger men and possible outcome of the 20th meeting between the two sides.
RECORDS AND FORM
The home form of Juventus has been excellent this season. They have only lost once and conceded a total of 5 goals in 15 games (13W 1D) making them the team with the best home record in Serie A.
Their home record in the CL so far stands at 2 victories and 2 draws with 3 goals conceded. Juventus drew the last time they played at home in the CL.
Gonzalo Higuain’s brace put the two time winners ahead but a strike from Harry Kane and Cristian Eriksen earned Tottenham a 2-2 draw.
The return fixture saw Gonzalo Higuain canceling out Son Heung Min’s first half strike and Paulo Dybala completed the comeback to help his side advance.
One thing that will give their players confidence ahead of the tie is that although they have lost to Real Madrid in two Champions League finals, they have beaten the Spanish side in every other knockout game they have been in (4 times).
The most recent one was the 2015 semi-final where Juventus achieved a 3-2 aggregate victory. The Old Ladies have a decent record in two legged ties against Spanish opposition overall with 9 victories coming their way and 6 defeats.
Max Allegri will hope that his men come out on top in this fixture and make their 18th European Cup quarter-final appearance a memorable one.
The record 12 time winners of the Champions League have only lost twice away from home in La Liga Santander this season in (9W 4D). Their goal tally on that run currently stands at 32 with half of that conceded.
Zinedine Zidane’s side got to this stage by beating PSG 3-1 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu thanks to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo. The return leg at the Parc De Princes ended in a 2-1 score line.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro got the goals. Los Blancos have now reached this stage of the competition for a record 35th time, winning 28 and losing 6.
In their past 30 matches in all competitions, Real Madrid have lost four times (20W 6D). Their most recent loss came at the hands of Espanyol in February. Real Madrid have won 9 times and drawn twice in 19 meetings with the Old Ladies.
The Spanish club will find confidence in the fact that they have never been knocked out of the CL since 2015 and they have managed to advance to the semis for 7 consecutive seasons.
The defending champions will also find solace in the fact that they have won their last five fixtures against Italian opposition and have only lost once to a Serie A opponent in their last 12 encounters.
Real Madrid will no doubt give the Bianconeri a fight in their bid to be the first to win the UEFA Champions League for three consecutive seasons.
INJURIES, SUSPENSIONS AND POTENTIAL LINEUPS
Zinedine Zidane has a full squad at his disposal for this fixture. For Juventus however, Max Allegri will have to set up his side without the availability of Miralem Pjanic and Mehdi Benatia due to suspensions.
Alex Sandro picked up an injury during the international break but is expected to be fit to feature in the match. Federico Bernardeschi is still injured and has been ruled out entirely.
Real Madrid lineup: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema
Juventus lineup: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Barzagli, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Matuidi, Marchisio, Costa, Dybala, Higuain
Zinedine Zidane and the rest of the team will look up to Cristiano Ronaldo for the goals. The Portuguese forward has scored 21 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions this calendar year (18 in 9 La Liga games 3 in 2 CL games) and he already has 12 CL goals this season averaging 1.5 goals per game.
Cristiano will hope to add to his record 20 goal tally in Champions League quarter finals.
The Old Ladies will rely largely on Gonzalo Higuain to make the difference as he faces his former team.
Pipita has been involved in 28 goals in all competitions this season (22 goals 6 assists) and he already has five in eight CL matches this campaign.
The home form of Juventus is something to be largely feared and their knockout stage record against Madrid is something that will give them a psychological boost but the absence of Miralem Pjanic in particular will be key to tipping the scales in the favor of the 12 time champions. A 2-1 victory to Real Madrid is the prediction.