Real Madrid and Juventus, last year’s finalists, were paired together again in the Champions League draw on Friday for another round of a European Clásico that has been played out nine times in Europe’s elite competition this century, with the Old Lady victorious four times to Real’s three, with two draws.
However, Massimiliano Allegri faces two significant absences for the first leg in Turin with both Medhi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic suspended.
Pjanic on the streets of Turin
The Morocco international has done a fine job of filling the considerable void left by the departure of Leonardo Bonucci while Pjanic is the team’s string-puller in midfield, Juve’s attacking intent invariably passing through the Bosnia and Herzegovina playmaker.
Also doubtful for the opening leg of the tie are Germany international defender Benedikt Höwedes, who could be back in action before April, and Juan Cuadrado, who is expected to return from injury in the first week of April, placing the Colombia winger’s availability in the Allianz Stadium in doubt. Meanwhile Italy international winger Federico Bernadeschi has not return date from his knee injury, leaving Allegri a little light in the wide areas on April 3.