Real Madrid may have Cristiano Ronaldo, but they must overcome a 2-1 first-leg deficit to keep their season alive when a Juventus side boosted by the return of Paul Pogba visit the Santiago Bernabeu in the return of their Champions League semi-final tomorrow.
1. Real Madrid could be back close to full strength as Toni Kroos is expected to shrug off a hip injury picked up against Valencia, while Karim Benzema is set to feature up front after a month out with a knee problem.
2. Karim Benzema’s French international teammate Pogba is certain to play a part after making a goalscoring return from a near two-month injury layoff in a 1-1 draw at home to Cagliari on Saturday.
3. Juventus have waited 12 years to get back to the biggest game in European football, when they also beat Real in the semi-finals in 2003, and defender Giorgio Chiellini described the game as the biggest in his 10 years with the club.
4. Juventus’ biggest threat could come from a very familiar source for the Madrid faithful as Real Madrid academy product Alvaro Morata returns to the Bernabeu after scoring the opener in the first leg. The Spanish international joined the Bianconeri last summer and could still return to his boyhood club should they exercise a buy-back clause at the end of the season.
5. Defensive lapses have cost Real Madrid in recent weeks as they have conceded twice in four of their last five matches and right-back Dani Carvajal insists they can’t go for a clinical Juventus side from the off and risk being caught on the counter-attack.