Real boss Zinedine Zidane has played down suggestions that his side are favourites to win Europe’s most prestigious club competition again as they host Juventus.
Only a spectacular collapse will deny Real another semi-final appearance following their Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired victory in Italy, where the Portuguese captain scored two goals including an incredible bicycle kick in the first leg.
Twelve-time winners Real are therefore looking to win the competition for the fourth time in five seasons, but Zidane insisted that they could do that without being branded as favourites.
“I’m not interested in talk of favourites, I prefer to show it out on the pitch and we must respect all clubs and all aspects of football,” the former World Cup winner added.
“If we put in a great performance and we are focused throughout the match we have a good chance of battling through, but we must keep that idea in mind.”
Los Blancos will play without suspended captain Sergio Ramos when they host Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, and defender Jesus Vallejo, 21, could start alongside Raphael Varane for Real.
As for the defending Serie A Champions, they will play without key forward Paulo Dybala, who was sent off in the first leg for two yellow cards, but defender Giorgio Chiellini says that they would put on an improved performance in Spain after their first-leg disappointment.
“We’re not crying about what happened, and we go to Madrid with the desire to play a good game,” Chiellini added. “We’ll treat it like a marathon, not a sprint and we’ll need to go into the game with a level head.”
Real Madrid 0 : 0 Juventus