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Juventus hold the advantage in Group H after their narrow win in Turin on Matchday 3 but the return fixture offers Real Madrid CF the opportunity to regain the initiative in the fight for first place. Both qualifying places look to be within reach for the two former winners of the UEFA Champions League with the draw between FC BATE Borisov and FC Zenit St. Petersburg leaving the newcomers some distance adrift of the top two places.
• Goals early in either half from Alessandro Del Piero and Amauri sent Madrid back empty-handed from their trip to Italy. Ruud van Nistelrooy's 66th-minute header cut the arrears but that was as good as it got for Bernd Schuster's team, the hosts holding firm at the back. It left Los Merengues with six points from three games, one behind Juventus, but they will take encouragement from their recent record against Italian visitors.
• With the exception, that is, of last season. Before AS Roma's 2-1 victory in the Santiago Bernabéu to seal a 4-2 aggregate triumph in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie, Madrid had won their last five official home games against Italian sides. That sequence was preceded by another Roma win in the Spanish capital – 1-0 in the 2002/03 first group stage – which interrupted a 13-game sequence in which Madrid had won eleven and drawn two.
• These back-to-back fixtures renew a rivalry between two teams who between them have lifted this trophy four times since the onset of the UEFA Champions League with seven appearances in the final. In all Juventus have won just once on their five visits to Spain to face Madrid – a 1-0 win in the 1961/62 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final – with the other four ties all going the way of the home side. There has never been much in it with just a single goal separating the sides on all five occasions.
• Juve's last visit came in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League first knockout round when Iván Helguera's first-half header put Madrid in charge but their opponents trumped that in the Italian leg, winning 2-0. In fact Juventus can travel with confidence because, taking the home-and-away results together, they have come out on top on the last three occasions the clubs have been paired together.
• That statistic masks what is a disappointing record in Spain overall, however, Juventus having lost on 13 of their 19 visits and won only twice.
• The teams for that first-leg match in Madrid on 22 February 2005 were:
Real Madrid: Iker Casillas, Míchel Salgado (Raúl Bravo), Iván Helguera, Walter Samuel, Roberto Carlos, Thomas Gravesen, David Beckham, Zinédine Zidane, Luís Figo, Raúl González, Ronaldo (Michael Owen).
Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram, Jonathan Zebina, Fabio Cannavaro, Manuele Blasi (Alessio Tacchinardi), Emerson, Pavel Nedvěd (Ruben Olivera), Mauro Camoranesi, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Alessandro Del Piero (Marcelo Zalayeta).
• One of the Italian club's most important successes against Madrid came in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League semi-final as Juventus triumphed 2-0 at home to overturn a 2-1 first-leg defeat in Spain, David Trezeguet on target at the Santiago Bernabéu when Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos earned the home side victory. In the final, the Bianconeri drew 0-0 with AC Milan after extra time and a 3-2 loss on penalties denied Juve the chance to add to their 1996 crown.
• In 1998, Juventus and Madrid met in the UEFA Champions League final in Amsterdam when a Predrag Mijatović goal ended Los Merengues' 32-year wait to win their seventh European Champion Clubs' Cup title. The two sides also met in the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with Madrid winning 1-0 at home and Juve 2-0 in Turin. The Italian side went on to win the competition 4-2 on penalties against AFC Ajax following a 1-1 draw in Rome.
• The teams also locked horns in the second round of the 1986/87 European Cup when Madrid won on penalties after both teams triumphed 1-0 at home. Madrid advanced to the semi-finals before losing out to FC Bayern München, the eventual beaten finalists. The teams first met in that 1961/62 quarter-final and after both legs went to the away side 1-0, Madrid won the replay in Paris 3-1. The Spanish giants went on to lose to defending champions SL Benfica in the final at Amsterdam's Olympisch Stadium.
• Bernd Schuster's Real Madrid team began their 13th campaign in the UEFA Champions League with a 2-0 home victory against BATE with Sergio Ramos and Van Nistelrooy on the scoresheet. On Matchday 2 they were forced to pull out all the stops as they faced durable opponents in Zenit. An own goal by Tomáš Hubočan put the visitors on top but after Danny had levelled the Russian team looked as if they could go on to dominate proceedings. However, the nine-time European champions got their noses in front again as Van Nistelrooy took advantage of more defensive uncertainty and that was enough to secure the points.
• The Bianconeri earned a 2-2 draw on Matchday 2 at BATE but even a point looked beyond them after 23 minutes when they trailed 2-0. Goals by Sergei Kryvets and Igor Stasevich rewarded a whirlwind start by Viktor Goncharenko's side, who were anxious to mark the first home appearance by a Belarussian club in the group stage in a positive fashion. Then Vincenzo Iaquinta, in for the injured Trezeguet, got to work and his header followed by a low shot earned the visitors a point. It followed a narrow victory against Zenit on 17 September courtesy of Del Piero's long-range free-kick.
• Madrid centre-back Fabio Cannavaro spent two seasons with Juve between 2004 and 2006.
• Juventus players Olof Mellberg (Real Racing Club), Mohamed Sissoko (Valencia CF) and Christian Poulsen (Sevilla FC) have all played club football in Spain.
• Juve coach Ranieri had a short spell in charge at Madrid's city rivals Club Atlético de Madrid between 1999 and 2000 in additions to two stints as coach of Valencia (1997-99 and 2004/05).
• Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Del Piero and Camoranesi all appeared for Italy against Spain in the UEFA EURO 2008™ quarter-final. Casillas and Sergio Ramos were in the opposing team.
• The other game in the group is between BATE and Zenit.
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