Our event of the day is the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final clash between Juventus and Real Madrid in Turin. Both teams overcame tough opposition in the previous round to make it this far, setting up a replay of last year’s final. Juventus scored two second half goals in the second leg against Tottenham at Wembley and then held out to the end to see themselves through to the next round. Real Madrid had a slightly easier time of it against Paris Saint-German, winning 5-2 on aggregate, to progress to this stage.
For Real, Cristiano Ronaldo is the obvious key man - he has scored every time he has played against Juventus, with seven goals in five appearances to date. After resting some key men in their previous game against Las Palmas, Zinedine Zidane is likely to name close to his strongest team in Turin with Nacho Fernández the only injury doubt for Madrid. For Juve, although Medhi Benatia and midfielder Miralem Pjanić are suspended for the first leg, Giorgio Chiellini and Juan Cuadrado returned in their last game to give the Italians a boost. Juventus will hope Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala, the goalscorers from that second leg against Tottenham, will be able to continue their strong form and pick up a victory on home soil against the slightly favoured Real Madrid. This matchup is the tie of the round, with last year’s finalists both looking to add to their European pedigree by taking a big scalp as they progress to the next round.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NBA as the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Toronto Raptors at the Quicken Loans Arena. These two Eastern Conference high flyers are now jostling for seeding position in the playoffs. Other NBA matchups see the Milwaukee Bucks play the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Golden State Warriors. In MLB, the Houston Astros take on the Baltimore Orioles. Elsewhere in the Champions League, Bayern Munich travel to Spain for the first leg of their tie with Sevilla. In the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning face the Boston Bruins at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. In Cricket, it’s Day 5 in the Test match between England and New Zealand with plenty of work for the Black Caps to do if they are to avoid defeat. It is also Day 5, and a similar story, in South Africa’s Test against Australia in Johannesburg, as the Australians chase a mammoth total. Finally, it’s Day 2 in the Volvo Car Open on the WTA Tour in Charleston, South Carolina.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by UEFA
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