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By Tony Robertson

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus face the prospect of crashing out of the Champions League if they cannot overcome Atletico Madrid in the last 16 second leg.

The Italian hosts trail by two goals following the first leg where goals from centre-back pairing Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin put the Spaniards in the driving seat.

The game was a hard-fought contest with Ronaldo hitting the bar with one of his trademark driven free-kicks and Wojciech Szczesny making an excellent save to tip World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann’s chipped effort onto the crossbar.

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VAR was also implemented during the game, ruling out an Alvaro Morata header while the score was still 0-0.

Since the game the Old Lady have won three on the bounce, including a 2-1 win over title rivals Napoli and an impressive 4-1 win over Udinese on Friday.

Atletico have mirrored this form while also keeping three clean sheets. In fact, the last time Los Colchoneros conceded a goal was against arch-rivals and current European champions Real Madrid on February 9.

Diego Simeone, the Atletico manager, has a huge selection headache with Diego Costa and Thomas Partey both suspended while left-backs Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis also remain sidelined. Club captain Godin is also a doubt.

Juventus will be without Juan Cuadrado and Sami Khedira, who are injured, while Alex Sandro is suspended. However, Douglas Costa could make his return to boost Massimiliano Allegri’s team.

Sub-edited by Riley Taylor.

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July 2024