Raul is set to return to the Real Madrid side for their semi-final tie against Juventus as the Spanish side look to preserve their 2-1 advantage from the first leg a week ago.

The striker, the highest ever scorer in Champions League history, has just returned after undergoing surgery for appendicitis.

However, fellow striker Ronaldo, who has demonstrated in recent weeks that he is close to his best, remains a doubt with a calf injury.

Coach Vicente Del Bosque seemed unconcerned by the prospect of facing Juventus without the Brazilian.

“We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether Ronaldo can play,” he said.

“But we have other players who are ready to step in.”

Moreover, defender Miguel Salgado the presence of Raul will compensate for the possible absence of the Brazilian.

“If Raul wasn’t to play we would be missing the soul of the team,” he said.

“He is the player who really strikes fear into our opponents and the one who produces the goods when it counts.”

Raul certainly struck a confident tone when discussing the match.

“I am feeling well and will be ready for the game,’ he said. ‘The squad may not have had the best results recently but I think we have been preparing for this game. We won the first leg so Juventus can’t sit back and wait for us to attack – but we cannot defend either. We have to attack as well.”

One definite absentee is midfielder Claude Makelele, who is out with a thigh problem but former Juve midfielder Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo have recovered from minor minor knocks.

In contrast to Madrid, who arrive arrive in Turin on the back of a disappointing 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Recreativo de Huelva, Juventus are buzzing after retaining their Serie A title on Saturday. Furthermore, they receive a triple boost with the return of three suspended players Paolo Montero, Alessio Tacchinardi and Edgar Davids.

Uruguayan defender Montero’s return is a particularly important for the Italian side, with defenders Ciro Ferrara and Mark Iuliano ruled out throughsuspension. Ferrara will be replaced by either right-back Lilian Thuram or by utility man Igor Tudor.

Juventus coach Marcello Lippi has advised his players to play an intellligent game tonight, aware that all-out attack may backfire against a side of Madrid’s quality.

“We will need heart but also a lot of brains,” said Lippi. “We know we can score against Real but we need to be very careful not to concede a goal because then we will need to score three.”

Recent form perhaps favours the home side, but Madrid – as they showed against Manchester United in the quarter-finals – always look capable of scoring, and an away goal tonight could put the tie beyond Juventus.

Probable teams:
: Buffon, Thuram, Tudor, Montero, Zambrotta, Camoranesi, Tacchinardi, Davids, Nedved, Del Piero, Trezeguet.
Real Madrid
: Casillas, Salgado, Hierro, Helguera, Pavon, Carlos, Figo, Conceicao, Zidane, Guti or Ronaldo, Raul.