The two teams last locked horns almost a year to the day in California where Los Blancos secured a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from former attackers Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.
Juventus’ 2022-23 campaign was eventful to say the least and it eventually ended in disappointing fashion, as they were deducted 10 points for financial irregularities, slipping out of the Champions League positions and down to seventh place – 28 points adrift of Scudetto winners Napoli.
The Old Lady had been preparing for life in the Europa Conference League, but UEFA announced last Friday that they have been kicked out of the competition for the 2023-24 season and fined £17.1m after breaching Financial Fair Play regulations; Juve have opted against appealing UEFA’s decision.
A lack of European football and financial concerns have ultimately led to speculation about the future of a number of first-team players this summer, but manager Massimiliano Allegri is focused on working with his current group as they endeavour to return to the summit of Italian football next season.
Juve’s opening pre-season friendly against Barcelona was cancelled after several members of the Catalan squad were diagnosed with viral gastroenteritis, but they eventually ran out for their first warm-up match against fellow Serie A side AC Milan in California last Friday, playing out a 2-2 draw before winning 4-3 in a penalty shootout.
Danilo netted either side of strikes from Malick Thiaw and Olivier Giroud as Milan entered half time with a 2-1 lead, but Daniele Rugani scored an equaliser a day before his 29th birthday just three minutes after the break. Despite missing two of their penalty kicks in the shootout, Juve prevailed with academy graduate Matias Soule converting the winning spot kick.
Juventus, who begin the new Serie A season away against Udinese on August 20, enter Thursday’s contest seeking to claim their first victory against Real Madrid in any competition since April 2018 when they secured a 3-1 second-leg win in the Champions League quarter-finals, albeit losing 4-3 on aggregate.
Real Madrid entered last weekend’s El Clasico clash with rivals Barcelona in buoyant mood after beating AC Milan (3-2) and Manchester United (2-0) in their opening two pre-season matches on their tour of the USA.
However, Los Blancos were beaten 3-0 by the La Liga champions in Texas courtesy of goals from Ousmane Dembele, Fermin Lopez and Ferran Torres, despite striking 29 shots on goal, hitting the woodwork five times, missing a first-half penalty and boasting more possession than their Spanish counterparts.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted after the match that “it hurts to lose” against Barca, but he has insisted that he is “focusing on the good points” and hopes to end pre-season on a high with success over Juventus.
While Real can take pride in lifting the Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup last season, coming up short in La Liga and the Champions League is something that Los Blancos will be seeking to avoid in 2023-24, and they will seemingly be looking to bridge that gap to glory with their current squad as president Florentino Perez has stated that their summer transfer business is complete.
With one eye on their opening La Liga fixture of the new season away against Athletic Bilbao on August 12, Real will be looking to return to winning ways against a Juventus side whom they have beaten in four of their last five meetings.
Juventus friendly form:
Real Madrid friendly form:
We say: Juventus 1-2 Real Madrid
While Thursday’s result is of little importance to either side, both Juventus and Real Madrid will be looking to round off their pre-season preparations in style and put in a positive performance with the new campaign just round the corner.
Los Blancos were unfortunate to not find the net against Barcelona, but we can see them having better luck in front of goal against Juve, with Ancelotti’s men edging out their Italian counterparts in Florida.