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Real Madrid vs Juventus: Raphael Varane ready to partner Casemiro in defence

11 April, 2018, 12:45 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • JOSEP LAGO  GettyImages

Zidane told reporters ahead of Real's Champions League quarter-final second leg clash with Juventus on Wednesday: "I see him the same as always, the only thing is that he himself is going through a bit of a rough time because of all the things being said about him".

The Turin club have visited Real Madrid eight times in their history, losing five and winning just twice. "If we do, we will adapt".

Perez added: "The great players of the past are Real Madrid's main assets".

The hosts continue to be without Nacho, who has missed their last two games with a hamstring injury he sustained at Las Palmas, while Lucas Vazquez and Jesus Vallejo face late fitness tests.

- Ten of Robert Lewandowski's 45 Champions League goals have come versus Spanish opponents (22 per cent), more than against clubs from any other nation.

- Veteran Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes has won his last 12 Champions League games as manager, the longest run in the history of the competition. What will change in this game, in difference to the first game, is that Dybala will not be playing and therefore I can choose only from three attackers instead of doue.

The Portuguese global netted his 20th goal in 10 matches against Atletico Madrid at the weekend, taking his total to 38 for the season.

And Real president Florentino Perez has cranked up the pressure on the title-holders, saying the four Champions League trophies under his tenure is not enough for him as he wants to match the haul of six European Cups won by late president Santiago Bernabeu.

With Cristiano Ronaldo on top form, Real are rightly favorites to progress to the semifinals. Mateo Kovacic would likely enter the lineup to replace Casemiro in the midfield, or Zidane could choose a more aggressive setup with an extra attacking midfielder such as Marco Asensio or Francisco "Isco" Alarcon. The team defeated Juventus 4-1 in last year's final.

"We must approach this as if it was a one-off game and do everything possible to get a positive result".

This could be Gianluigi Buffon's final Champions League appearance.

"Trying to achieve the impossible will help us achieve the possible", the 40-year-old Buffon said. "We need to play with this kind of spirit against an awesome side". "The game is long and therefore we will need some balance, but to do it will take a pinch of healthy madness from everyone".

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