Real Madrid vs Juventus: Seven things you need to know, including why it's a big night for Gareth Bale

A look ahead to Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second-leg

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid take on Juventus on Wednesday evening with the two sides bidding for a place in the Champions League final.

The first-leg ended 2-1 to the Italian outfit, putting them in the driving seat, just. However the away goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin could prove crucial in determining which side makes it to Berlin next month.

Ahead of the game, we bring you all the talking points and info you need.

It's a big night for...

Gareth Bale. The Wales international is having a rough time of it at the moment, finding himself in the newspapers either being linked with a move away or being criticised for his latest performance. In the first-leg he was largely anonymous and he backed that up with a quiet display in a 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend. But the former Tottenham player has shown in the past an ability to score when it really matters - grabbing crucial goals in the finals of both the Champions League and Copa del Rey last season. A big contribution against Juventus is just what he needs.

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Gareth Bale with Cristiano Ronaldo

 

What happened in the first-leg?

Juventus made a sharp start at the Juventus Stadium and were rewarded for it when Alvaro Morata scored against his former team after eight minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo pulled things level with a header after 27 minutes. But the Italian side were to triumph in Turin when an excellent display from Carloz Tevez was capped with a well taken penalty that the Argentine had won himself.

 

Remember this?

These teams met in the 1998 Champions League final with the Spanish side winning thanks to a solitary goal scored by Predrag Mijatovic in the 66th minute. Watch it below...

 

One to watch...

Paul Pogba. The France international who slipped through Manchester United's grasp and has been reminding them about it with every performance since is back. Having missed the first-leg, he returned at the weekend after a two month lay-off and found the back of the net.

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Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates a goal

 

 

Killer stats...

Real Madrid's home record is phenomenal. Prior to their 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend they had won their last six, scoring 21 and conceding just 2. They've also scored at least one in their last 52 games at the Bernabeu and scored at home in their last 23 Champions League outings.

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A view of the Bernabeu

 

The boring stuff...

The match is on Wednesday at 7.45pm and will be shown on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 5. There will also be minute-by-minute coverage on The Independent website.

 

Best build-up quote...

"We must keep a cool head, be patient and not go crazy" - Real Madrid player Dani Carvajal.

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