Preview,LineUP: Real Madrid vs Juventus

Madrid’s win at a venue where the hosts had not lost in 14 months came thanks to a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo to take his tally to 53 for the season.

Whatever the case, the defending European champions will continue to be without the services of Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, with the loss of the Croatian set to be particularly keenly felt.

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It was Modric’s return from injury that did much to correct a mid-season slump and keep Real Madrid on course to land a first La Liga title in three years as well as becoming the first club ever to win back-to-back Champions League titles.

It will be some relief then for the Spanish giants that their opponents’ midfield will also be missing arguably its leading light.

Paul Pogba has been linked to almost every big club in Europe, including Real Madrid, on the back of his continued emergence into one of the world’s most dominant all-round midfielders.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Ramos, Kroos, Isco; James, Ronaldo, Bale

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Bonucci, Evra; Pirlo, Marchisio, Sturaro, Vidal; Morata, Tevez

Even without the France international, Juventus still have plenty of quality in the center of the pitch. Arturo Vidal, although still trying to get back to the heights of last season, scored the only goal against Sampdoria at the weekend, while Claudio Marchisio has also impressed of late.

And then, of course, there is Andrea Pirlo. Now aged 35, the World Cup winner has hinted that lifting the Champions League this season could persuade him to walk away from Juventus.

A victory in Berlin next month would be Pirlo’s third in the competition, with the first two coming under the guidance of the man who will now be charged with stemming his influence on Tuesday.

Ancelotti not only won two Champions League crowns with Pirlo at Milan in 2003 and 2007, but he also coached Juventus for two years, before the announcement of his sacking infamously arrived halfway through the final league game of the 2000-2001 season.

The links between the clubs do not end there. If Ancelotti has particular reason for wanting to prevail, the same is true regarding Juventus striker Alvaro Morata.