Champions League Quarter-Final Overview: Real Madrid vs Juventus

Gareth Bale crosses a ball for Real Madrid in La Liga

Key Points


  • Will Bale or Isco start? Based on the pattern of Zidane’s choices for starting XI’s in Champions League games, it looks like Isco is set to start for Madrid in what will certainly be a tense affair in Turin.


  • Despite losing in last season’s final, Juventus did defeat Real Madrid the last time these two sides met over two legs.


  • Cristiano was rested at the weekend and will most surely be a decisive player if Madrid are to take away a good result for the second leg in Madrid.


  • Juventus will be feeling confident after defeating AC Milan in the league 3-1 at the weekend. Dybala looks to be back to his decisive best after a bit of an injury spell earlier in the year.


  • Allegri vs Zidane will be an interesting tactical battle. Zidane did well to out guise Emery last round, but Allegri also did well in his tactical battle with Pochettino.


Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal in the UEFA Champions League

Firstly, I was wrong. I wrote about how the Real Madrid train was going to be stopped dead by the tie’s initial favorites, PSG. The Neymar-led Parisians had blown all of us away in the 2017/18 UEFA champions league group stages, finishing top of the group they shared with Bayern Munich and scoring a record number of goals. But the round of 16 came and the Los Blancos who had a difficult start to their La Liga campaign completely annihilated the Parisians. In fact, they seemed to have effortlessly blew away the PSG smoke, beating them 5-2 on aggregate. The champions league spirit of Ronaldo who bagged a total of three goals in both legs reminded us that the most successful club in Europe cannot be judged on their league form alone.

Juventus player Gonzalo Higuain scores against AC Milan in Serie A San Siro

Next, they face the challenge of the increasingly unpredictable Juventus. The Old Lady produced a miracle at Wembley. They maturely responded to a first leg bullying by Tottenham taking the game to Spurs in the final 45 minutes of the match. Sitting pretty at the top of the Serie A league table right now, Allegri’s men will be confident of avenging last year’s 4-1 humiliation by Madrid in the final. Both Spanish sides Real Madrid and Barcelona may be the prohibitive favorites, but this will be Spain’s best against Italy’s best.