PREVIEW – Juventus vs Real Madrid – Champions League Semi-Final

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Real Madrid

The Champions League underdogs clinched their 31st Scudetto last Saturday with a 1-0 win against Sampdoria, their fourth consecutive Serie A title. With the finale of the Coppa Italia not until June 7th, Juventus look to overcome the odds and set themselves up for an incredible treble in the 2014-2015 season.

 

It’s advantage Juve heading into the home leg. The Italian giants have their title wrapped up but Real Madrid are still chasing Luis Enrique’s Barcelona in the hunt for the La Liga Crown. Surely this will be on Ancelotti’s mind when choosing his team to take the stage at the Juventus Stadium, as he looks to avoid finishing three seasons in a row without a Spanish title.

 

Simeone’s Atletico Madrid managed to juggle the two competitions – admittedly – despite stumbling in the Champions League final and allowing Real Madrid to claim ‘La Decima’. It was difficult to imagine, somewhat, that Atletico could reach the final over teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the other semi-finalists of this year’s competition. But last season is proof that the trophy is anyone’s to win.

 

Juventus are without Paul Pogba, a target for many European giants in the next transfer window, including their opponents on Tuesday. Patrice Evra is injured too, who has already won this competition with Manchester United in 2008. But Juventus still aren’t lacking quality with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tevez and of course the veteran goalkeeper that is, Gianluigi Buffon, who will certainly give Real Madrid’s exciting attacking force something to think about.

 

Karim Benzema is out of Ancelotti’s squad, but Real Madrid have on-loan Javier Hernandez to start up top in Turin. The Mexican known as ‘Chicharito’ missed a number of golden opportunities against their Madrid rivals but with some help from this year’s Ballon D’or winner, beat the almost unbeatable Jan Oblak to send Real into the semis.

 

Carlo Ancelotti has won the same amount of trophies at Real, as Juve boss Massimilano Allegri has over the three clubs he has managed. But the team in black and white are not minnows, they have the players, a great manager who despite being inexperienced, won the Scudetto this year by a landslide.

 

The last European Championship was won by Spain. The last World Cup was won by Germany. The previous two Champions League finals have been occupied by two teams from Spain and Germany respectively. Juventus have the chance to fly the Italian flag in a major competition. With under a month until their Italian Cup final, the treble is their’s for the taking.

 

By Dan Alister

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