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Juventus Football Club : Real Madrid and Juventus on the ropes as Champions League returns

08/05/2020 | 08:22am

By Juan José Lahuerta

Madrid, Aug 5 (EFE).- Real Madrid will take on Manchester City and Juventus will go head to head with Leon in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 ties as the competition resumes for the first time since it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Madrid and Juventus both suffered defeats in the first leg of their matches back in February when City secured a 2-1 comeback victory at the Bernabeu and Leon won 1-0 at home.

The resumption of the Champions League this week will also see Bayern Munich take on Chelsea after a 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge while Barcelona will play Naples at home after a 1-1 draw.

These eight teams will battle it out for the final places in the quarter finals, which, along with the semi-finals, will be decided in single-leg clashes in Lisbon.

The final, originally slated for Istanbul, will also be held in the Portuguese capital.

Atalanta vs Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid have already been confirmed for the quarter finals.

Exactly four months and 26 days have passed since the last match in the tournament, when Atletico Madrid beat Liverpool at Anfield after extra-time on 11 March.

PSG also secured a spot in the quarter finals with a victory against Borussia Dortmund on the same day.

Leipzig and Atalanta beat Tottenham and Valencia respectively on 10 March for their places.

The rest of the teams were unable to play the second legs of their matches due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Madrid have made the most of the hiatus and have been in fine form since the restart in June.

When City in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after being handed a tactical lesson from Pep Guardiola's side, they had just lost top place in LaLiga to Barcelona.

But now, months later, they arrive at the Etihad Stadium as the deserved champions of the Spanish league.

Nevertheless, Zinedine Zidane's side will have their work cut out for them.

Although they are Europe's most successful club with 13 titles, they have never come back after losing the first leg at home.

The Spanish side will be without Sergio Ramos, who was suspended after being sent off in the first leg, and will be replaced as captain by Eder Militao.

On the other side, Guardiola will be without Benjamin Mendy, who is also suspended, and an injured Sergio Aguero.

Another league champion Juventus will also be on the ropes at Turin's Allianz Stadium.

Maurizio Sarri's team has to turn it around after losing the first leg away to Olympique Lyon.

After winning the Italian league, Juventus will be keen to add the trophy they have most longed for to their cabinet. They have not won the Champions League since 1996.

Coach Sarri gave star forward Cristiano Ronaldo a break on the final day of the domestic league.

Paulo Dybala picked up an injury on Sunday while Douglas Costa, Sami Khedira and Mattia De Sciglio are out of action.

France's Ligue 1 was suspended in April and Lyon finished the season without a European place but will have the chance to make up for that by reaching the quarter-finals.

Rudi Garcia's men will have almost all of their squad available with only Youssouf Koné out due to injury.

It will not be easy for Barcelona either after Quique Setién's team finished the domestic season without a title.

Setién will be without Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal due to suspensions.

Napoli could be without their captain Lorenzo Insigne, who left the field on the last day of the domestic league with an injury.

The team looking most likely to be eliminated is Chelsea, who will face Bayern in the Allianz Arena.

The German side's 3-0 victory in the first leg means Frank Lampard's team will need all but a miracle to get through. EFE

© 2020 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc., source EFE Ingles

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