Following their 2-1 defeat in Turin a fortnight ago, Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster has warned Juventus that the Spanish champions are “hungry for revenge” tonight.
“It’s going to be a difficult tie,” said the Madrid boss. “You could see the problems they caused us last time. We need to avoid committing the same mistakes and try to win, knowing three points would be a huge step towards qualification. We’re going to try to start as strongly as possible.”
“That result damaged us because we had chances to come away with a draw,” said the German, who welcomes back Ruud van Nistelrooy and Míchel Salgado from knee injuries, although Ruben de la Red and Miguel Torres miss out.
“There are lots of ways for a team to get back to its best. [Juventus], for example, have used this competition, and a win against us, to begin improving their results. Now they are growing in confidence.”
Visiting coach Claudio Ranieri thanked Madrid for facilitating a turnaround in their fortunes.
“They helped us realise what we were capable of and allowed us to say ‘yes, we can win’,” said the 57-year-old. “We were able to start again from scratch, but with more strength than before. Bernd Schuster said Juventus were not in crisis two weeks ago and I say the same thing about Madrid now. They’re a fantastic team, particularly in their own stadium, although like all teams, they are sometimes up and sometimes down.”
Ranieri has been forced to cope with a lengthy injury list which includes Jorge Andrade (knee), Cristiano Zanetti (thigh), Jonathan Zebina (achilles), Gianluigi Buffon (thigh), David Trezeguet (knee), Christian Poulsen (thigh) and Dario Knezevic (knee).
“I’ve had to modify my lineup to try to find the right chemistry,” he said. “You have to continue to motivate the players you have available in every game. We’re proud to be here at this fantastic stadium and in this competition. We have seven points, it’s a good return, but we haven’t guaranteed qualification yet.”