Real Madrid vs Juventus: top pundits give their verdict

The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson and Sam Tighe from Bleacher Report preview the upcoming clash of titans in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Jonathan Wilson (The Guardian):

“This match is a repeat of last season’s Champions League final, neither team feel quite the same as they did in Cardiff. During the two legs of last-16 Tottenham looked quicker, sharper and stronger. Perhaps that is less of an issue here given Madrid will not press Juve in anything like the same way.

“Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s sphere of on-pitch influence gets smaller by the season; his continued capacity to score goals is not in doubt but the question is always at what cost to team structure. Leaving out Luka Modric and Toni Kroos makes it harder to control possession but the width should mean a steadier supply of crosses for Ronaldo.”

Verdict: Real Madrid will win

Sam Tighe (Bleacher Report):

“Last June in Cardiff, when the two contested for the trophy, Real Madrid’s experience in finals told. Just shy of a year on, the makeup of Real Madrid’s XI has barely changed. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos still reign supreme in midfield, Cristiano Ronaldo still executes when it matters the most, and Marco Asensio still changes games off the bench. The fact this is the only competition Real Madrid are still in makes them a dangerous opponent.

“Juventus slid past Tottenham Hotspur to get to this stage, showcasing an obvious weakness at right-back along the way. Whoever Massimiliano Allegri fields there is going to have to a massive problem containing Marcelo, Asensio and Ronaldo. There’s every chance Real Madrid gain good ground down the flank, and if they can tee up five balls into the box, Ronaldo will tuck at least one away.”

Verdict: Real Madrid will win