Juventus v Monaco Match Preview

AS Monaco will look to become only the third team to win a knockout tie in the Champions League after losing the first leg at home – the other two who did were Ajax Amsterdam in 1996 and Bayern Munich in 2011, and even then they had just a one goal deficit to claw back. Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring against MonacoTuesday’s hurdle against Juventus requires the French side to overturn a 2-0 loss and considering the Italians’ four-year unbeaten home record in Europe, smart money will always go the Old Lady’s way. But there is a solution for Monaco: score early, score plenty. Monaco has scored three goals or more in 27 games this season, and that should be their plan. Yes, Juventus have the meanest defense in Europe but Monaco have shown they can be electric on their day and will need to be ruthless if they have any chance of scaling the great wall of Turin. Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus is tackled by Kamil Glik of AS MonacoAn obvious question is how Monaco’s own wobbly defense will keep Juve at bay while, assuming they can, put in two or three early goals. Key to keeping things tight for the French will be Tiemoue Bakayoko, who is a currently a doubt with an injury, and Juve’s Miralem Pjanic will definitely take advantage of the physical power and defensive instincts Bakayoko would have provided. Should Monaco go through, it would be a result for the ages, not on the scale of what Barcelona did to PSG at Camp Nou in the round of 16, but it should burnish the credentials of this free-scoring side known more for their brittle backline than for seeing through tough ties. Juventus coach Max Allegri during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first legThat said, Allegri’s dominant display at the Stade Louis II was no fluke; it came from a season of drilled management, and their superior at every turn. The Serie A champions set a club record by keeping a sixth consecutive clean sheet in the Champions League – holding Les Rouges et Blancs to only their fourth blank in 57 fixtures this season. Quotes Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim: "We have to stay confident, try to play our game and put on a good performance and if we score at the start of the game, maybe that could change things." Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri on Dybala limping off at the weekend: "It was normal in the circumstances and towards the end of the season. Monaco are a side with great talent and we have absolutely not yet sealed our qualification. We need to win the second leg." 1 Apr 1998: Victor Ikpeba of A.S. Monaco passes the ball as Edgar Davids of Juventus looks onMatch facts Juve have won all 11 two-legged ties against French sides, including against Monaco in both the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League semi-finals and the 2014/15 quarter-finals. The latter campaign witnessed their last appearance in the last four; the Bianconeri are now aiming for a ninth European Cup final. Monaco, who have never won in Italy in seven trips, losing all but one, are hoping to reach the final for a second time having got that far in 2003/04 – their last semi-final appearance. Bet on all the Champions League action here

Published: 05/09/2017