Ancelotti can push Juve closer to exit door

Sun Nov 3, 2013 9:25pm EST
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(Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti can push his former club Juventus and disciple Antonio Conte closer to the Champions League exit door if they win in Turin on Tuesday.

The two teams, who have won the competition 11 times between them, were both expected to comfortably progress from Group B and Tuesday's match was seen initially seen as little more than some early sparring for the knockout rounds.

But, after drawing with Galatasaray and Copenhagen and then losing in 2-1 Madrid two weeks ago, Juventus suddenly find themselves fighting for survival.

Ancelotti is unlikely to admit it but he may gain some grim satisfaction if he can help eliminate his former club.

He had two difficult years at Juventus early in his coaching career, where despite twice leading them to second place in Series A he was sacked on the last day of the 2000-01 season.

Conte, who has led Juventus to two successive Serie A titles, was his swashbuckling captain at the time and has since gone on to become of Europe's top coaches although he has sometimes shown exasperation at his club's lack of financial clout.

A win for Real, whose only previous away win against Juventus was 51 years ago, would send them into the last sixteen with two matches to spare and leave third-placed Juve with only two points from four games.

Should Galatasaray win away to FC Copenhagen in Tuesday's other Group B game, Juventus would find themselves five points behind the Turkish champions with a trip to Istanbul still to come.

WINLESS RUN   Continued...

Real Madrid's coach Carlo Ancelotti (standing) reacts during their Spanish first division soccer match against Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas stadium in Madrid November 2, 2013. REUTERS/Susana Vera