With the La Liga title looking like it is headed to the Camp Nou, and Barcelona already booking their place in the final of the Champions League, Real Madrid's season is on the line when they host Juventus in the second leg of the UCL semifinals at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid were pretty poor in the first leg in Turin, going down deservedly to Juventus 2-1. However that away goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo might just prove to be the difference as a 1-0 victory in front of their own fans will take Real Madrid to the final for the second time in as many seasons.
"We are so close to playing in a second successive final and to a place in competition history," Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who is trying to lead a team to the title for the first time in consecutive seasons in the Champions League era, said.
"It's difficult but we will do our best. We must be patient, avoid problems and play with more intensity than we did in the first leg. We know what to expect -- Juventus have their own distinct identity and they are not going to change that."
Mistakes and a bit of lethargy, perhaps, was Real's main problem in the first leg, even if they were caught out a little by a robust-in-attack Juventus, who rode on terrific performances from their strikers Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata, the former Real Madrid player.
Cutting out those mistakes, particularly in midfield, will be paramount if Real are to prevent Juventus from scoring on Wednesday. And of course, Ancelotti will also hope the BBC – Gareth Bale, woefully out of form, Karim Benzema, just returning from injury, and Ronaldo produce a bit of magic, much like Barcelona's "MSN" attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar did in their semifinal against Bayern Munich.
"We dream of playing another final, that's our goal," Ancelotti added. "We have to play with intensity, with a lot of focus. We must avoid mistakes and try to show all of our qualities."
For Juventus this match will be about proving to themselves, and the rest of Europe, they are definitely back in the big leagues again. While reaching the semifinals is an impressive achievement in itself, Juve will know it will mean little if they cannot take that last step and reach the final, especially after winning the first leg.
"This will be an interesting match -- from a tactical point of view, we can't change much from the first leg," Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said. "We will need to be really good to get through this match with serenity. We'll have to play well, but getting a 0-0 draw will be almost impossible. In this kind of game you can't just think about defending. We'll have to be much better in possession.
"We're 95 minutes away from Berlin. Nobody expected this opportunity for us. I will sleep tonight. Maybe tomorrow I will sleep less."
While Juventus have the pedigree, the team in recent seasons have not faced the daunting prospect of a Champions League knockout semifinal second leg, and with Real Madrid having already done it last season, who handles that "pressure cooker" situation better might just be the deciding factor of the tie.
"This is a UEFA Champions League semifinal and there will be a lot of pressure," added Allegri. "It won't be a normal game."
Where to Watch Live
Get the Highlights and Goals of the Match HERE
The Champions League semifinal second leg is scheduled for an 8.45 pm CET (12.15 am IST, 7.45 pm BST, 2.45 pm ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Ten Action, Ten Sports and Ten HD. Viewers in India can also catch the match via live streaming online on Ten Sports Live.
Audience in the UK can watch Real Madrid vs Juventus Live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 5, with the live stream option on Sky Go. Watch the game live in the US on Fox Sports, while the semifinal can also be live streamed on Fox Soccer 2 Go.
Viewers across the world can also watch the Real Madrid vs Juventus via live stream on UEFA Video.
Team news: Real Madrid: Benzema, much to Ancelotti's relief, is back in the mix, and could even start the game. "Benzema is 100% available and could play from the start," Ancelotti said. "He makes the team better but has not played for a month and that's my doubt."
Luka Modric and Sami Khedira, though, are sidelined with knee and foot injuries.
Juventus: Paul Pogba is back after missing the first leg, and Allegri hinted at starting the Frenchman, but Kwado Asamoah, Martin Caceres, Marrone and Romulo are ruled out.
Expected lineups: Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; James Rodriguez, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Pogba, Pirlo, Vidal, Marchisio; Morata, Tevez.