Juventus host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday looking to reach their first final since 2003. The Old Lady secured their fourth straight Serie A title at the weekend so will go into the tie full of confidence and are now able to focus solely on their bid for a third Champions League triumph. Their last victory came when a team containing the likes of Alessandro Del Piero, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Didier Deschamps beat Ajax on penalties in the 1996 final. Meanwhile, Real Madrid have won the famous trophy on four occasions since then including last year after a 4-1 win over neighbours Atletico Madrid after extra time in the final – and are bidding to become the first team in the Champions League era to retain the trophy. They required a late winner from Javier Hernandez to reach this stage though. The Mexican’s goal at the Bernabeu was all that separated Real and Atletico after 180 minutes.
It was a similar story for Juve as they beat Monaco 1-0 on aggregate in the last eight. Arturo Vidal’s penalty in the first leg in Turin proved enough to eliminate Arsenal’s conquerors after a goalless draw in the return leg. Carlo Ancelotti’s side go into the match as strong favourites to reach the final but Bianconeri striker Alvaro Morata, who joined from Real Madrid last summer, is confident that his current club can cause an upset. “The fact Juventus haven’t won the Champions League in a long time doesn’t count for anything,” he said. “We’re in contention right now and we’re totally focused on the job. “We want to win the title. We’re in the semi-finals and we’ve already shown we’re among the four best sides in Europe. Let’s hope we make it to the final two.”