The Uefa Champions League is back with us this week, with one of the most anticipated games being Real Madrid against Juventus.
The Italians face a difficult match when they travel to Spain for Wednesday’s match still looking for their first Champions League win of the season.
Juventus will be desperately looking for a win in the Santiago Bernabéu that will keep them second in Group B behind the Spanish Giants.
So far in the competition the Serie A side have only managed to draw both games they have played drawing first with FC Copenhagen 1-1 and 2-2 with Istanbul’s Galatasaray.
The match in Spain could have been the reason why they lost away this Sunday 4-2 in Florence to Fiorentina being too busy focusing on the Champions League rather than their domestic league as they appeared to be cruising to victory up by two goals thanks to Carlos Teves and Paul Pogba they allowed La Viola to score four goals in the last 25 minutes including a hat-trick from Giuseppe Rossi to give the Old Lady their first loss this season.
Manager Conte denied that the team were too busy in training for the Real Madrid game rather than concentrating on Fiorentina.
“We lost a game that we dominated for 70 minutes. We were home and dry and had more than one opportunity to score the third goal,” Conte said after the defeat.
“I don’t think our focus was already on Real Madrid, otherwise we would have got our overall approach wrong.”
Out for the clash in Madrid are midfielder Simone Pepe, Stephan Lichteiner and doubts over the fitness of Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella.
Meanwhile nine-time winners Real Madrid have easily won both of their first two Champions League matches crushing Galatasaray in Turkey 1-6 before inflicting a 4-0 defeat on FC Copenhagen at home.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the Champions League top scorer with five goals after just two matches, and won the title of leading scorer last season after finding the back of the net 12 times.
In la Liga Real Madrid have got off to a slow start after drawing a match against Villarreal 2-2 and losing to cross town rivals Atletico 1-0 as well as only just managing to beat Elche and Levante with the help of last gasp goals.
Last Saturday’s match saw them win an easy 2-0 victory over Malaga as the first of the winter rains arrived in the Spanish capital you could also feel that the players were just going through the motions with all thoughts on Wednesday nights match, a game in which world record signing Gareth Bale will feature after returning from a thigh injury.
Real Madrid have brutally punished both of their opponents at home and away in the Champions League, and despite their routine performances domestically I expect them to inflict a defeat on the Italians as well.
Prediction Real Madrid 3-1 Juventus.