Sunday April 1 2018
Not the same Juve as Cardiff

Juventus capitulated to Real Madrid in last year's Champions League Final, but Daryl Hammond warns a lot has changed in Turin as they meet again.

A world class goal from Mario Mandzukic aside, Juventus were thoroughly beaten by Real Madrid come the full-time whistle in last year’s Champions League Final. 

Almost a year on, the one constant is that both sides have reached the quarter-finals again, but have otherwise had contrasting fortunes in their respective leagues. Real Madrid will likely face a very different Juventus side to the one they beat 4-1 in Cardiff.

For a start, one of the biggest factors of Juve’s league success thus far has been in their seemingly imperious defence. While the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Medhi Benatia and Andrea Barzagli are renowned for their defensive prowess across the back line, regardless of substitutions and alterations, they look impenetrable.

Until yesterday’s 3-1 win over Milan, they had kept a clean sheet in 13 consecutive domestic games, and were only 15 minutes from breaking their own record for minutes without conceding. You don’t concede, you don’t lose, it is as simple as that. A Bet365 bonus code can help punters get that winning feeling too.

All this despite the departure of Leonardo Bonucci. Though it was his ability with ball at his feet that earned many plaudits, he is a more than capable defender and seemingly a lynchpin in their system. His conduct at half time in that final is what allegedly sealed his fate at the club. Though a thorn in their side yesterday with his equaliser for Milan, he seems a prickle well plucked. 

Also playing and subsequently leaving in that Champions League Final was full-back Dani Alves. The Brazilian played on the right of midfield in Cardiff with Mario Mandzukic on the other flank to make a pair of effective but unconventional wingers.

The option to go long and put the ball on the head of 6’3 Mandzukic was a refreshing one, and Mattia De Sciglio is nowhere near the offensive juggernaut Alves was. But with the additions of Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi, Max Allegri has modern wingers at his disposal who beat full-backs with skill, can cut inside and cause problems in the ways most others in the side cannot. 

 It allows Juve to be more flexible tactically, and both Plan A and B can be effective. We saw as much in that four-minute spell at Wembley when Allegri brought on wing-backs and changed the whole complexion of the tie. 

The new faces are a bonus, but their established stars put them where they are. Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic are for the most part doing the business going forward. Dybala more than most has increased his goal output and seems to be coming into form at the right time after an injury lay-off with five goals in six games.

The fact that all their stars are in relatively good form this season will only add to a sense of confidence they may not have had when they last faced Real. 

True, the Spaniards are defending champions and played as such when they dispatched Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in the last round, but their league form leaves much to be desired and exposes vulnerabilities many didn’t think existed.

Allegri’s side will approach the tie with trepidation, but optimistic they can find a way past Zinedine Zidane’s team over two legs.

Have your say...
hahaha. wise words.
on the 3rd April, 2018 at 9:59pm
Hmmm i dont know about the barzagli situation. He doesnt do well if you put him out wide but as a cb he is still quite good. Khedira will play. Its between marchisio and betancur for the cm.
on the 3rd April, 2018 at 12:28pm
Please don't start Barzagli or Khedira vs Real as they will take full advantage of their lack of speed. Rugani, and Marchisio needs to start.
on the 3rd April, 2018 at 10:47am
ciao amici!
Juve is a solid team with a lot of great players!
4-4-2 would be the best option with Higuain and Dybala up front!
Rugani should play from start!!
scoring aginst Buffon is not really easy most of the goals he conceded was deflected juve defenders!!!
we will beat real by a narrow margin and go to Madrid to get a draw!!!
we have to keep the ball moving in the midfield and eliminate space for Ronald&isco!
it is possible!! we have some great champions in our squad!
on the 3rd April, 2018 at 4:38am
@anonymous 6:20pm

PSG and Man City on another level?

Based on what, exactly? When was the last time either of those teams reached the CL final?

Both have been spending millions and millions with nothing to show for. Juve managed much better results with half the budget.

How are they on another level? Cos they have Neymar and KDB?

And no, we're not terrified, we kicked both Barca and Real out of the CL within the last 4 seasons.

Keep hating.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 9:40pm
Juve better attack because there is no way theyll hold Real without scoring. After last year's drubbing Its hard to see Juve winning. They're midfield is poor, but you never know in football.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 9:39pm
Juventus was in much better shape going into ardiff last year. Both mentally and physically. We had just beaten Barca 3-0, and had an impressive defensive record.

What happened beteen those 2 halves, I'm not sure.

This Juve is not better than last year, and yet still doing great things this season. Let's see how it plays out.

I'm cautiously optimistic.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 9:36pm
Not the same Juve...cause they're worse. No better than Spurs.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 6:24pm
but its the same Real Madrid.
When are Rubentus supporters going to realize that they are not a great team. They are average. Real, Barca, Bayern, PSG and Man City are on another level. Khedira is not Kross, Pjanic is not Modric, Dybala is not Ronaldo, Benatia is not Ramos. The sheer reaction from the Juve faithful when they drew Real is indicative. They were terrified. As well, Juve were thoroughly outplayed the whole final last year, as they were in 2015.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 6:20pm
If Isco plays, its over for Juve. Allegri needs to be very careful and not f around as the quality of the midfield in RM is hands down better. Their coach was also the king of midfielders who played for Juve. Dybala is good but still young mentally and when things get tough he needs to learn to fight back and not give up like happened the last CL but I don't think he has the supporting crew. I don't like Pjanic as he disappears and I'm not sure Sami has enough drive to help Dybala either.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 4:45pm
All credibility lost in his first sentence. First half of last year's final was pretty even. I thought Juve had a great shot going into the half. Not having Bonucci in a big game is addition by subtraction. Not starting Barzagli would help as well. He is just too slow for a team like Real.
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 4:08pm
@kenzille i rate bentancur but he has a card or two in him, while pjanic has been inconsistent i'd start him over the uruguayan any day. let's see what allegri does...
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 6:00am

Juve - Real 1-2 or 1-1 (lose or draw)
Real - Juve 3-0 or 4-0 (lose)
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 1:25am
a different Juve. But not better.

The defence is in good form but nowhere near as solid as previous years. Start of the season was difficult.. having a in form Ronaldo, Real will maximum penetrate that defence.

don’t think Juve be confident as in Cardiff or before Barcelona.

If Juve are to win, it has to be with tactics, and Allegris abitliy to read the game

Wingers? Yeah but nowhere near as technically gifted as real Madrid’s players.

Being realistic but forza juve
on the 2nd April, 2018 at 1:07am

I guess it could be another 4-2-3-1 but the difference is the wingers who you just want to stay wide and get forward and get back and help the fullbacks. an old fashioned 4-4-2 may be best against madrid. I feel khedira plays better without pjanic. bentancur can just provide a cover for the back four.
on the 1st April, 2018 at 11:57pm
I think Football-Italia is going to issue another article regarding the upcoming JuveReal match and if not, pity. Cause it deserves a more thorough analysis!!!
on the 1st April, 2018 at 11:39pm
Not the same?
Who knows?

We'll find out on the night!

on the 1st April, 2018 at 10:22pm
-Douglas Costa, Bernardeschi, Matuidi n Bentancur offer something more and n added dimension to this current Juve outfit which could swing the tie in their favor. De Sciglio is underrated imo too. He may not offer the same as Alves going forward but whenever I've seen him play he looks a strong defender who is good in the tackle! I'd fancy Real everytime in a one-off match but over 2 legs Juve can do it. I just hope they don't retreat into their shell if they manage to take the lead!
on the 1st April, 2018 at 9:34pm
Football Italia needs to up their standard of blog writing. Why just put information that everyone already knows (that Juv lost Bonucci, Dani Alves, that Madrid are not doing well in La Liga) instead of actually analyzing how Juventus could get past Real Madrid, who now operate with Asensio and Lucas Vasquez on the wings and not really Isco, the man who destroyed Juv in Cardiff? Higuan and Dybala are crucial for obvious reasons but Pjanic, who has been so inconsistent ever since he joined Juv?
on the 1st April, 2018 at 9:31pm
This tie is a tough one to call? What Juve r 2 Serie A Real r 2 the CL! I hope Juve give a better account of themselves cause Real aren't 4-1 times better! If Khedira n Higuain play then they must step-up as they seemed overawed in last years final! Shame Howedes is always injured n Rugani hasn't found more 1st team action cause I'm still not sure about Benatia? Imperious at Roma but he seemed to lose his way at Bayern! Otherwise Juve r stronger now-
on the 1st April, 2018 at 9:29pm
Surely Lucky Real Madrid's good fortune will run out soon. I mean how many times can they get the rub of the green? Juve were the better team in the first half last year but something went horribly wrong after half time - RM weren't the better team, just lucky as usual (deflected goal, awful sending off). I really hope Juve stuff them. The thought of Lucky RM getting to the final and winning on penalties or scoring a last minute goal or getting a helping hand by the ref makes my blood boil!
on the 1st April, 2018 at 8:45pm
Last season I actually felt Juve were favourites for the final. They were playing great and had a real swagger.

I am sure I'm the same as most supporters in that I hope for best but don't have the same confidence this time around.
on the 1st April, 2018 at 7:38pm
Juve will win
on the 1st April, 2018 at 7:07pm
Lazy article

No analysis, research or depth
on the 1st April, 2018 at 5:55pm

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