Real Madrid will receive a triple injury boost ahead of their vital Uefa Champions League 2nd leg game with Juventus FC with superstars Raúl González, Zinedine Zidane and Michael Owen all set to be activated from the treatment room.
Juventus come into this game on the back of a highly controversial 1-2 win at AS Roma in the Italian capital this Saturday night.
Juventus FC midfielder Pavel Nedved is out of this match due to a head injury sustained during the 1st leg encounter at the Bernabeu.
Manuele Blasi is suspended.
Real Madrid have visited Italy 22 times (W5 D4 L13), although three of those five wins have come in our last five trips.
Juventus FC XI (probable):
Coach: Fabio Capello
Formation: 4-4-2 >>> 4-3-3.
Real Madrid CF XI (probable).
Coach: Vanderlei Luxemburgo.
KEY TO THIS GAME:
*Defensive solidarity: Juventus need goals, so I am sure Capello will play with an attack-minded 4-4-2 formation (although on the pitch that will translate to 4-3-3 with Del Piero often operating behind Trezeguet and Ibrahimovic). Make no mistake, Juventus will play man-to-man coverage . We can not afford to give away cheap free-kicks around the penalty area. Zlatan and Trezeguet are both very dangerous in the air and I just know that we could be vulnerable from set-pieces.
*Discipline: Gravesen is highly competitive, but he won't get away in European competition the kind of tackles he gets away with in la liga. He has to be very careful because the Juventus players will go down at every opportunity.
*Casillas, Zidane and Ronaldo: Casillas will be tested more than he was in Madrid, but I have no doubt he will show the World why he is the best goalkeeper on the planet by emerging victorious from his battle with Buffon. Zidane was simply awesome in the first leg in Madrid, and I am sure he will be extremely motivated against his former team and will want to exercise the ghosts of our 3-1 defeat in Turin two years ago. Ronaldo played very well against Valencia, and must keep up the hard work.
Since Vanderlei Luxemburgo took charge at Madrid (LFP and UCL):
With Raul starting: P8 W8 D0 L0.
Without Raul starting: P4 W1 D1 L2.
Call him out of form, out of flavour, whatever you want, but there is no doubt Real Madrid play with fighting spirit when our beloved captain is on the field. You take this player out of RM, and we don't play with even half a heart. I expect Raul to inject the much-needed energy and determination that we've lacked in our last few games.
*Possession football: The Della Empty (thanks La Blanca ) is usually hardly full but will obviously be packed on Wednesday night. The only way to stop the fans from getting into the game which will support our concentration is to keep possession of the ball. Juventus can't match our technical ability, which was so joyfully evident at the Bernabeu a fortnight ago. We absolutely must take advantage of this area again.
|Uefa Champions League| Round 16| 2nd leg|
|Wednesday| 9th March 2005| 20:45 CET| Stadio Delle Alpi.
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