The history linked to this fixture is so huge that one could write a book about it. But in the space of 90 minutes only this Wednesday, Los Blancos and the Bianconeri will be able to add many more pages to it. Between 1999 and 2001, current Juve manager Antonio Conte played under Carlo Ancelotti at the Turin-based club. Now, the latter is the head coach of Real Madrid and his task is to deliver La Decima come May 2014.
So far, so good for the Spanish giants in the UEFA Champions League. They have netted a record 10 goals in only two matches – 50 per cent of those coming from the tournament’s leading goal scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo.
La Vecchia Signora, meanwhile, stumbled on Matchday 1 away to København and allowed Roberto Mancini’s hungry Galatasaray to snatch a 2-2 draw in Italy on Matchday 2. Now the Santiago Bernabeu is perhaps not the ideal venue for Juventus to kick-start their European campaign.
Last weekend, Conte’s men became the victims of the most shocking score line across Europe’s top leagues. How they let a 2-0 first-half lead slip away to Fiorentina was stunning. The game ended 4-2 with ex-Villarreal forward Giuseppe Rossi notching a hat-trick to expose Juventus’ defensive weaknesses.
The Scudetto titleholders are only third in the Serie A, five points off the top spot which is currently occupied by AS Roma. Players like Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo’s former team mate at Manchester United, Carlos Tevez, will be asked to cause problems to Real Madrid’s unstable squad.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti is hoping for his team to build on their solid 2-0 win against Malaga with El Clasico only three days away.
“We played well against Málaga at the weekend. I think we have improved since the start of the season,” Carlo Ancelotti told the press.
“We have more confidence and are playing with greater intensity. Great players can always play together – Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Gareth] Bale have no problem doing so.”
The hosts will want to overturn what happened the last time both sides were paired together in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. Roll the years back to the 2008/2009 season and you can recall a certain Alessandro Del Piero scoring a brace to condemn Real Madrid to a 2-0 defeat in Spain.
In fact, Juve have the upper hand when it comes to recent stats. In the last five Champions League meetings against the Galacticos, the Bianconeri have claimed four victories. The last time Los Blancos defeated the Italian side was in February 2005 with a lone goal from Ivan Helguera.
The most recent clash between both teams occurred in the Peace Cup in July 2009. Cristiano Ronaldo had only just completed his £80M transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid. He defied Gianluigi Buffon through the penalty spot but goals from Fabio Cannavaro and Hasan Salihamidzic were enough for Juve to triumph.
What sort of show will the public be treated to, on Matchday 3 of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League?
Watch Real Madrid vs Juventus live on Wednesday, October 23, 2013:
For viewers in Spain, check out C+ Liga de Campeones / HD and Canal+ Yomvi. If you are in Italy, tune into Sky Sport 1 HD Italia or seven other channels. LiveSoccerTV will offer you live scores upon kick-off. More live listings available on the Real Madrid-Juventus match page.
|Real Madrid||May 2|
|Celta de Vigo||May 4|
|Bayern München||May 6|