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Juventus v Real Madrid: Three Keys To Beating Los Galacticos

Juventus v Real Madrid: Three Keys To Beating Los Galacticos

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1) Field a 4-4-2 and mirror Real Madrid’s setup.

TURIN, ITALY – MARCH 11: Head coach Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus looks on during the serie A match between Juventus and Udinese Calcio on March 11, 2018 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

With Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia suspended, Massimiliano Allegri’s options in the first leg are limited. Factor in key injuries to Federico Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado, and you can see to what extent the tactician’s hands are tied. That being said, the bianconeri’s squad is still deep enough to field a lineup capable of besting Real Madrid.

Juventus must take advantage of the fact that the first leg is in Turin and mirror Zidane’s setup by fielding a 4-4-2. Real Madrid are often deployed in a 4-3-1-2, with Isco roaming between the lines. In order to not give up numerical superiority in the midfield – an issue that plagued Juve in Cardiff last season – Allegri should field Marchisio alongside Matuidi with Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro flanking them. This way, one of the central midfielders can pick up Isco while the other one protects the back four.

The wingers will also play a crucial role in this setup. Considering Marcelo’s predisposition to bomb forward, Allegri should turn to Douglas Costa to take advantage of the inevitable space the Brazilian leaves exposed behind him. With the former Bayern man as an outlet, Juventus will have ample opportunities to counter. Alex Sandro – by contrast – could slide into a mezz’ala role in the midfield when Juve don’t have possession helping the remaining central midfielder with Kroos or Modric.

In attack, Allegri should look to keep Dybala as far up the pitch as possible pinning Casemiro back in the process. Real Madrid have struggled this season immensely against two-striker setups, something Allegri will undoubtedly have taken note of. In fact, nearly half their defeats have come against sides using a 4-4-2 formation. This tactical setup offers both defensive solidity and enough firepower to hurt the Spanish giants. In addition, Allegri could turn to the likes of Mandzukic, Khedira and Rugani among others off the bench to see the game out, if need be.

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