Real Madrid is surely the only club in the world where one defeat can equate to a full blown crisis.
In truth Los Blancos weren’t great in Italy last week but they faced a Juventus side who were right on their game and playing in front of one of the greatest crowds in football.
It will be a different story at El Bernabeu and Real Madrid only need a 1-0 win to go through. But Juventus are no push overs and they will offer a serious goal threat of their own. Furthermore, Paul Pogba is likely to return and noticeably strengthen the visitor’s midfield.
Luka Modric will be Real Madrid’s biggest miss but Toni Kroos looks set to feature after coming through a medical, following his slight injury against Valencia at the weekend.
Karim Benzema should also be fit after a month on the sidelines and this should make a big difference to Real Madrid’s front line.
The recent criticism of Gareth Bale, from his own fans, is so self-defeating. The fans should get behind him because, on form, he can win any match almost single handedly.
We would be tempted to throw Isco into the midfield and return Ramos to the centre of defence. Isco can do a job in midfield and offer the sort of passing range that Real Madrid have missed in the absence of Modric. Kroos is more than capable of marshalling Paul Pogba’s runs and, on form, Isco deserves to be in the side.
So while Asier Illaramendi or Ramos is more likely to get the nod alongside Kroos, we think Isco would put Real on the front foot from the start.