Champions League quarter-final first-legs – Tuesday

The first Champions League quarter-finals get underway this Tuesday with defending champions Real Madrid in action.

Zinedine Zidane’s side – who are looking for an unprecedented third successive Champions League crown – travel to Turin to face Juventus in what is a repeat of last year’s final.

And Zidane is hopeful he can again triumph against his former club, saying: “I think Juventus and Madrid are quite similar in mentality.

“This Juve side have always been very strong and they are confirming it this season as well. They are a complete side and we will have to be very careful with their strong defence but also their dangerous attackers. As I said, they are strong everywhere.”

“We always try to win, no matter who our opponents are and what we did in the past.”

Juve are hoping that they can use the home advantage to good use in the opening leg, their boss Max Allegri said: “We want to build an advantage to then take to Madrid. Therefore, to score and not concede would be the ideal scenario.

“We need to play like we did in the first half in Cardiff, but to maintain that level throughout the tie.”

In Spain and Sevilla, who shocked Manchester United in the last round, entertain German giants Bayern Munich.

But Bayern have a very poor record in Spain of late, having lost their last five trips but boss Jupp Heynckes has dismissed talk of a Spanish curse.

“What’s happened in the last four years is history and means nothing. In 2012 and 2013 we reached the final by beating Spanish teams, so it has no relevance.

“Bayern have played in many such vital games with great crowds all over the world throughout their history. My players won’t somehow be scared by the atmosphere which Sevilla’s fans create.”

Sevilla boss Vincenzo Montella comes into the game in confident mood and said: “Obviously, when you are competing at a high level across three competitions, as we are, it saps mental and physical energy.

“But I really love that this is our situation. We aren’t yet quite used to playing ultra-high level matches every three days and we need to be. However, the physical stamina of our squad doesn’t worry me in the slightest, and especially not our motivation.”

See below for a run-down on the games, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray, our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and John Hills of Coral.

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First leg
Juventus 19:45 Real Madrid

Juventus Stadium

TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid have a near fully fit squad to choose from with only Nacho missing. Juventus have both Mehdi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic suspended whilst Federico Bernardeschi  and Mario Mandzukic are set to miss out with knee problems but Alex Sandro is set to overcome a thigh problem to start.
KEY FACT: Real Madrid have won a record 12 UEFA Champions League quarter-final ties
MATCH ODDS: Juventus 21/10 Draw 9/4 Real Madrid 27/20
GRAEME SAYS: I have not been too impressed with Juve this season, Real win all the way for me…0-2
ANDY SAYS: I think this will be tight but don’t see Real losing so draw for me…1-1
CORAL PICK: Ronaldo first goalscoer @7/2 
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Cristiano Ronaldo stilll under £10 – has to be worth a look

First leg
Sevilla 19:45 Bayern Munich
Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan

TEAM NEWS: Bayern come into the game with goalkeeping legend Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman. Sevilla are without the suspended Ever Banega, whilst Sebastien Corchia, Gabriel Mercado and Jesus Navas are doubts.
KEY FACT: Bayern have lost their last five trips to Spain
MATCH ODDS: Sevilla 17/4 Draw 16/5 Bayern 6/10
GRAEME SAYS: Sevilla won’t be an easy nut to crack but have to think Bayern get the win here…0-2
ANDY SAYS: Bayern are going to win this for me…1-3
CORAL PICK: Bayern to win and Both Teams To Score @2/1 
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Robert Lewandowski is still a great buy for anyone, outside the top-20

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