As Real Madrid host Juventus in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final tie at Santiago Bernabeu, all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo as his rivalry with Barcelonaa s Lionel Messi reaches an all time high.
Looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit, Real Madrid will be banking heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo to provide the goals as they look to book a place in the Champions League finals. Barcelonaa s Lionel Messi seemed to steal the show last week as he single-handedly earned Barcelona a crucial 3-0 lead in the first leg of the tie. All eyes are now on Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid seemingly in need of a a Messiraclea to reach the Champions League finals in Berlin.
Despite a good start to their campaign, Real Madrid face Juventus at a crucial moment in their season when things are not really going according to Carlo Ancelottia s plan. Having lost the race for the Spanish La Liga following their draw against Valencia, it seems that Real Madrid are on the verge of finishing a trophy-less season despite stacking up a 22-game unbeaten streak in 2014. As predicted earlier, Real Madrid is struggling against the top teams in Europe and are running the risk of being exposed in the Champions League.
Real Madrida s chief concern lies with the absence of Luka Modric. Carlo Ancelotti doesna t seem to have solved the problem of the missing Croatian despite Modric being out for months due to his injury. A manager of Carlo Ancelottia s stature should have been able to deal with such an injury but it seems that he doesna t have the strength in his bench or any trust in his new signing Lucas Silva to fill the gaping hole left in the wake of Modrica s injury. So much so that he has had to promote Sergio Ramos to the midfield against Atletico Madrid and Juventus, a gamble that was always unlikely to pay off in the end. A capable centre-back with a flair for spraying the ball around, Sergio Ramos is not a midfielder and will not be able to help Real Madrid chase a deficit of 2-1 against a strongly organized side such as Juventus.
Coupled with this, Real Madrid seem to be missing Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale as the Galacticos look short on their fabled firing power. While Benzema has been out due to an inury, Bale seems to have recovered from his knock but is woefully out of form. He put up a strong performance against Valencia over the weekend but the Welshman seems unsettled following the recent criticism directed towards him along with his agenta s comments earlier this week. Benzema on the other hand has a chance of starting the game on Wednesday however the Frenchman hasna t played recently and could prove to be in need to more game-time in order to make an impact.
Carlo Ancelotti will also be worried about his defence and Iker Casillas in particular who looks to be in dismal form as Real Madrid enter the final phase of the season. Poor man-marking led to Juventua s opening goal in the first leg of the tie while an ill-conceived penalty led to Vidala s second goal. Along with the fact that Casillas has not been in his best form, Real Madrid need to be worried as they host Juventus in the second leg of the tie. A single goal conceded will take the deficit to two goals which will make Real Madrid desperate in the home leg.
In such a situation as this, there is no doubt that Real Madrid will look to Cristiano Ronaldo to pull off a a messiraclea in order to successfully defend their Champions League trophy in Berlin.