By Chukwuemeka Igwe
On May 5th, during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final, Real Madrid played away to the Italian giants, Juventus, with the score ending in a 2-1 defeat for Real Madrid.
In the first leg, Real Madrid lost at Juventus stadium 2-1, with the scorers being former Real Madrid team-mate, Alvaro Morata, Carlos Tevez and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, but Real came out with an advantage of having an away goal which might prove vital in the second leg of the Champions League. Real Madrid were not at their best in the match due to the lack of dominance in the midfield area, and this was a result of fielding in centre back, Sergio Ramos in midfield in replacement of the spectacular Luka Modric who was sidelined with an injury, and also playing Welsh winger, Gareth Bale as a striker in place of the injured French man Karim Benzema, who received less of the ball than the goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Real Madrid will be hosting Juventus at the Bernabeu stadium on May 13 in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, and according to the SOCCER POWER INDEX (SPI) which is a rating system of the ESPN sport network, Real Madrid has a 65% chance of advancing to the finals, while a 35% goes to Juventus. Real can easily advance to final if they come up with a 1-0 win over Juventus at the Bernabeu, or may end on the difficult part of winning 2-1 and going for a penalty shootout. Real Madrid’s manager Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping his team can perform at their best in the second leg against Juventus, one of the former clubs he coached. According to ESPN, suggestions are that Carlo Ancelotti will revert to a 4-3-3 formation with midfielders consisting of Toni Kroos, Isco, and James Rodriguez with Sergio Ramos going back to his natural position as a centre back. Karim Benzema who returned from injury is also expected to be in the front three with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. If Real Madrid advances to the UEFA Champions League final, they will be facing their greatest Spanish rivals Barcelona at the Olympia Stadion stadium in Berlin, which commences on 6 June 2015, and if Real Madrid pulls up a win they will become the first team in Europe to retain the cup title.