Juve look to avenge Cardiff despair

Juve look to avenge Cardiff despair

Juve look to avenge Cardiff despair

Zinedine Zidane said last week he wants to stay at Real Madrid but how welcome his wishes are will depend on the team's Champions League tie against Juventus.

Real face Zidane's former club in the first leg of the quarterfinal on Tuesday, knowing their season, and perhaps the Frenchman's future as coach, hinges on reaching the last four.

It was the same in the previous round against Paris Saint-Germain. Real's limp La Liga title defence, combined with their early exit from the Copa del Rey, means they now have only one shot at winning a major trophy this term.

The mood in Madrid, however, is upbeat. Real have won 10 out of their last 11 matches, a run that has seen them brush aside PSG and move to within four points of second-placed Atletico Madrid in the league. They have scored 36 goals in that period, at an average of just over three a game.

Despite winning back-to-back Champions Leagues and the La Liga title last year, he is still not immune to the weight of Real's expectation.

Last year's 4-1 victory in the final of the competition remains the high-point of Zidane's Real tenure, not only because it earned him an unprecedented second consecutive Champions League crown but because of the sheer ruthlessness of the performance.

If Zidane uses the win in Cardiff as a reference point, it may be to the advantage of Isco, who was excellent there, having been picked ahead of Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio.

The same trio are now competing for the same spot on Tuesday, with an added competitor in Vazquez.

Bale played 90 minutes against Las Palmas, perhaps an ominous indicator for his prospects against Juve, but he could hardly have done more to state his case, after scoring twice in the 3-0 win.

For Juventus, it is an opportunity to avenge last year's loss and sustain hopes of an historic treble.

Juan Cuadrado and Giorgio Chiellini both returned from injury against AC Milan on Saturday while Allegri also hopes to have Federico Bernardeschi and Alex Sandro available again.

Real defender Nacho is a doubt after he pulled his hamstring against Las Palmas but Sergio Ramos trained on Sunday after overcoming a knock.

Bayern wary of Sevilla

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has said there were no celebrations when his players watched the draw come out but Sevilla head into Tuesday's tie as the overwhelming underdogs of the quarterfinals.

This will be Sevilla's first ever appearance in a Champions League quarterfinal.

Sevilla were responsible for the least expected blow landed on the Premier League after they dumped out Manchester United in the last 16 following a fearless 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

It was also the high point of a topsy-turvy three months since Vincenzo Montella took charge mid-season.

There have been the home and away victories over Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey and an early, thumping win at Espanyol. But there were also the five goals conceded to all three of Eibar, Real Betis and Atletico in the league, as well as a 2-0 loss at home to Valencia, which all-but ended any hopes of finishing in the top four.

Sevilla's 2-2 draw at home to Barcelona on Saturday night was, in 90 minutes, a snapshot of Montella's reign so far.

Brilliant for 87 minutes, they led 2-0 and looked certain to inflict Barca's first La Liga defeat of the season, only to throw it away in two disastrous minutes in the end.

Manuel Neuer is back in training but this week is likely to come too soon for the goalkeeper, who has been out since September with a fractured metatarsal in his left foot.

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