Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Real Madrid v Juventus: Chiellini advocates attacking approach

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 May 2015

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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.”

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.

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