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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Buffon keen to avoid Real in UCL draw

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon says he would rather avoid Real Madrid in next week's Champions League draw as the law of averages suggest he is bound to lose to them sooner or later.

• Rzouki: Changed Juve do enough
• Muirhead: Celtic, let's do it again

Buffon has had an excellent record against Madrid in the Champions League throughout his career, featuring as Juve beat the La Liga side 4-3 on aggregate in the 2002-03 semi-finals, 2-1 over two games in the 04-05 first knock-out round, and won both group games during the 2008-09 competition.

Wednesday night's straightforward 2-0 last-16 second leg win over Scottish league leaders Celtic, secured with goals from Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella, sent the Serie A holders through to the next round 5-0 on aggregate.

Speaking with Marca at the Juventus Stadium after the game, the veteran keeper said Madrid was the one team he feared in the draw on March 15, when both the quarter-final and semi-final ties will be selected.

"I am very afraid of Real Madrid," Buffon said. "I already knocked them out three times [actually twice] with Juve, so the law of averages is not in my favour. Hopefully we can meet them further on in the competition, because that would mean we had kept going through the rounds."

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