Real Madrid v Juventus: Giorgio Chiellini Advocates Attacking Approach

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OMNISPORT

Defender Giorgio Chiellini knows Juventus cannot afford to play with an overly defensive approach in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.

The Serie A champions visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Turin.

Ex-Real striker Alvaro Morata gave Juve the lead before Cristiano Ronaldo equalised, only for Carlos Tevez to settle the contest with a 57th-minute penalty.


But Real's away goal means a 1-0 win would be enough to see the holders through to the final in Berlin next month.

And Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia: "We will need to score a goal, because we know that that you can't go to Madrid and defend such a slender advantage.

"Our spirits are high and we've had a relaxing week, having already won the Scudetto. We've prepared well for the match and can't wait for Wednesday evening."

Carlo Ancelotti's Real head into the contest on the back of a 2-2 draw with Valencia that all-but ended their hopes of winning the Liga title.

That setback effectively leaves the Champions League as the FIFA Club World Cup winners' only remaining chance of further silverware this season. 

Despite the pressure surrounding the fixture, Real playmaker James Rodriguez insisted in an interview with El Pais: "Real Madrid don't fear anyone.

"We respect all the teams in the world, and we know what Italian teams are like - they defend very well and we will have to be very good to break through their defence.

"We have to score goals and if we manage that we will be going to the final in Berlin."


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Real will again be without midfielder Luka Modric because of a knee problem but Karim Benzema is expected to be fit enough to play after nearly a month out with a similar issue.

Toni Kroos picked up a thigh injury in the draw with Valencia and is a doubt, while Juve are without Kwadwo Asamoah (knee) and Martin Caceres (ankle).

One player that will be available for Juve is France midfielder Paul Pogba, who marked his return from a hamstring injury with a goal in a 1-1 draw with Cagliari at the weekend.

Real are one of the teams to have been linked with the in-demand Pogba, and stopping the former Manchester United man is likely to be key for the hosts if they are to keep their hopes of retaining the trophy alive.


MATCH FACTS

  • 47% of the teams that have won 2-1 at home in the first leg of a knockout game in the Champions League (9/19) managed to reach the final.
  • Juventus have been in this situation twice before and have always managed to qualify for the next round: in quarter final v Olympiakos 1998/99 & in last 16 v Borussia Dortmund this season.
  • Juventus and Real Madrid have both won eight games in their encounters in the European Cup/Champions League (D1).
  • Real Madrid have won five of their seven home games against Juventus in the European Cup/Champions League (L2).
  • None of Real Madrid’s last 11 home CL games against an Italian side has ended in a draw (W7, L4).
  • The Old Lady has only won twice in their last 20 trips to a Spanish side in European competition (D4, L14).
  • Real Madrid have been knocked out in their last three European semi-final against an Italian team (v AC Milan in European Cup 1989, v Torino in UEFA Cup 1992 and v Juventus in CL 2003).
  • Juventus have reached the final in two of their three European semi-final against Spanish teams.
  • The Bianconeri have reached the final in seven of their previous 10 European Cup/Champions League semi-finals.
  • Three of Juventus’ last five goals against Real Madrid in the Champions League have been scored by Spanish players (Llorente x2, Morata).
  • Three of the last four goals conceded by Juventus in the Champions League have been headers.
  • Real Madrid have hit the woodwork six times in the Champions League this season, highest tally alongside Barcelona.
  • Only Bayern Munich have been awarded more penalties (8) than Juventus and Real Madrid (7) in the Champions League over the last two seasons.
  • Alvaro Morata has scored three goals in his last five Champions League games. He only scored one in his previous 11.
  • Alvaro Morata is the best Spanish goalscorer in the Champions League this season (3 goals).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored nine goals in the Champions League this season, best tally after Lionel Messi (10).
  • Ronaldo has now scored 76 goals in the Champions League, only Lionel Messi has more (77).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six goals in his last six Champions League games against Italian teams.
  • The Portuguese has scored four goals in three CL games against Juventus, highest tally alongside Hakan Sukur and Ryan Giggs in the competition.
  • Carlos Tévez has scored more CL goals this season (7) than in his previous five campaigns (6).
  • Iker Casillas could play his 150th CL game (excl. Qualifiers), highest tally amongst goalkeepers in the competition.