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Keys to the Game: Juventus vs. Real Madrid (Champions League quarter-finals)

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Keys to the Game: Juventus vs. Real Madrid (Champions League quarter-finals)

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Juventus must cope without Benatia and Pjanic

Juventus’ French midfielder Blaise Matuidi attends a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match Juventus vs Real Madrid on April 2, 2018 at the Juventus training center in Vinovo. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

It goes without saying: Medhi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic have been two of Juventus’ most important players all season long. However, due to both picking up yellow cards in the Bianconeri’s second-leg thriller with Tottenham, manager Massimiliano Allegri will be without the two and must now fill these respective voids if they want to have a shot tonight.

Allegri will likely field a 4-3-3 and call on veteran Andrea Barzagli to play alongside Giorgio Chiellini – a partnership that has served as the foundation of the Juventus back line for years.

At age 36, Barzagli will need to turn back the clock a bit and be the defensive stalwart he has been for the ‘Old Lady’ by closing down and keeping Real Madrid’s potent attack in check. As for the midfield, it is likely Allegri will lean on youngster Rodrigo Bentancur to hold it down at the base as Pjanic’s replacement while Blaise Matudi and Sami Khedira tend to regular responsibilities.

This is a big moment for the Uruguayan who could truly put himself on the map in Europe with a strong outing in front of those watching around the world.

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