Juventus are stronger challengers than Bayern or Chelsea – Ancelotti

The Real Madrid boss believes the Italian champions are more likely to stop his side’s bid to retain their Champions League crown this season

Carlo Ancelotti has suggested Juventus will pose a greater threat to Real Madrid’s Champions League crown than Bayern Munich or Chelsea this season.

Madrid have been drawn against Bundesliga outfit Schalke in the last 16 of the competition as they look to become the first side to retain the trophy in its modern format.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea and Pep Guardiola’s Bayern both reached the last four last season and have enjoyed impressive starts to their respective campaigns, but Ancelotti believes both teams have too many young players who do not yet possess the experience needed to succeed in the latter stages.

“They [Juventus] are a great team,” he toldĀ Tuttosport. “Bayern or Chelsea have several world champions and players with international experience, but are just missing that bit of maturity in the youngsters.”

Madrid have won their previous 22 competitive outings but suffered a 4-2 friendly defeat to AC Milan on Tuesday – though Ancelotti does not believe it will hamper their chances of victory against Valencia this weekend.

“It is a defeat that does not hurt at all. After a week of vacation we needed a game like this to prepare for the trip to Valencia. It serves to recover our rhythm,” Ancelotti concluded.

“Milan played well and we did not, but that does not ruin everything good that we did in 2014. We are very pleased with a fantastic year.”