April 11, 2018

RealMadrid vs Juventus : Bale back in favour

RealMadrid vs Juventus : Bale back in favour

Wang Shenchao (L) of China fights the ball with Gareth Bale of Wales during their China Cup International Football Championship Semi-final match in Nanning in China’s southern Guangxi region on March 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / – / China OUT

RealMadrid vs Juventus : Zinedine Zidane handed Gareth Bale his first Champions League start since September as Real Madrid prepared to face Juventus in the quarter-final second leg.


Bale was a surprise inclusion ahead of Karim Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Real held a 3-0 advantage from the opening match in Turin.

Sergio Ramos’ suspension meant a call-up for 21-year-old Jesus Vallejo in central defence while left-back Marcelo assumed the captaincy.

For Juve, Medhi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic returned after they were banned for the first leg. Mario Mandzukic started on the left of an attacking trio, alongside Douglas Costa and Gonzalo Higuain.

Starting line-ups for the Champions League quarter-final, second leg between Real Madrid and Juventus at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday (kick-off 1845 GMT; Real Madrid lead 3-0 from first leg):

Real Madrid (4-4-2)

Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Jesus Vallejo, Marcelo (capt); Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Isco; Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo

Coach: Zinedine Zidane (FRA)

Juventus (4-3-3)

Gianluigi Buffon (capt); Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Medhi Benatia, Alex Sandro; Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Mario Mandzukic, Gonzalo Higuain

Coach: Massimiliano Allegri (ITA)

Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)