Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has declared striker Karim Benzema fit to face Juventus and said his side is ready to make history against Juventus on Wednesday.
There was a concern that Benzema would miss tomorrow’s match with the France international suffering from a knee injury. But Ancelotti gave the striker the “all-clear” to start or come off the bench against Juventus.
It is also believed that midfielder Toni Kroos will be ready to face the Italian champions after the German international completed a full training session earlier today.
Kroos was only able to participate in part of first-team training on Monday after picking up what appeared to be a hip injury during the first half of Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia.
The midfielder was substituted during the 24th minute of the contest, with initial reports claiming he had suffered a muscle injury.
However, on Monday, following an examination of his hip, Kroos took to his official Twitter account to calm the nerves of Real Madrid supporters who feared the midfielder would be absent from the decisive return leg against Juventus.
Juventus hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Turin and have won 33 of the 41 UEFA competition ties in which they won the home leg, including all four where that initial score was 2-1 – most recently against Borussia Dortmund in the Round of 16.
Despite the task ahead of his side, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is confident his side can turn the tie around and reach their goal of returning to the Champions League final.
“We dream of playing in the final again – that’s our goal,” Ancelotti said during his pre-match press conference.
“We have to play with intensity and be very focused. We have to avoid mistakes.
“We are so close to reaching another final and making history in this competition. We will do our best to win. We want to make history.”
Should Real Madrid reach the final and claim their eleventh European Cup, they would become the first club in history to repeat as Champions League winners.
The team has had a difficult season in front of their home supporters, with Bernabeu fans whistling and jeering the manager and his squad at various points.
Ancelotti is calling for a unified front tomorrow against Juventus.
“I think we have played well the last few matches [against Sevilla and Valencia in La Liga], but we have lacked some concentration in key moments,” Ancelotti added.
“Tomorrow the Bernabeu and the players have to be as one.”
Programming note: Real Madrid vs. Juventus will be shown LIVE on Wednesday at 2:45pm EST on FOX Sports 1 and FoxSoccer2Go.
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