Tuesday UCL Preview: Monaco face tough ask to overturn semi-final against Juventus

French side Monaco look to pull off a big upset in Turin, as Leonardo Jardim’s side must overturn a two-goal deficit to reach a first Champions League final in 13 years when they travel to Juventus.

Gonzalo Higuain’s brace gave the Serie A side a well deserved 2-0 win at Monaco last Wednesday to put one foot in the final, and they will aim to finish the job tonight and secure their spot in a second Champions League final in three years.

No side has ever over turned a two goal deficit in the semi-finals
image: dailymail.co.uk

It is a tough ask for Leonardo Jardim’s side to cause a shock at the Juventus Stadium, as the Monaco must break down the competition’s best defence to keep their hopes of a first Champions League triumph alive.

Juventus have only conceded twice this campaign and last week’s win made it six straight clean sheets in a row for the Italians, as they look to silence the free-scoring Ligue 1 leaders once again and edge closer towards a first European Cup in 21 years.

Juventus are on a 22 game unbeaten home run in Europe, but head coach Massimiliano Allegri said his side cannot take anything for granted and is aware that Monaco will go on the attack from the offset.

“Monaco have nothing to lose,” said the 49-year-old.

“They can play with freedom and create trouble because they have players with great talent, especially up front. We will have to play aggressively and try to win.

“We have to play even better than we did in Monaco because we made a few mistakes there. The result of the first leg does not count for much because there are still 90 minutes between us and Cardiff.”

Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim is proud of his side’s impressive run in the Champions League this season, but he remains positive that his young guns can overcome the odds and reach the final.

“We have to attack with our minds free of bad thoughts,” said the former Sporting Lisbon boss.

“In the first leg, we had the same number of shots on goal as Juventus but they were more clinical. Obviously they are more mature than we are, but fundamentally we lost because we didn’t make the most of our chances.

“We want to keep our dream alive. Our objective is to reach the final and we will have to be at our best. I am very proud of my players and what they have done so far.”

Kylian M’Bappe will hope Monaco find a way past Juventus’ solid defence
image: skysports.com

Team News

Striker Paulo Dybala is fit to start for Juventus despite the Argentine limping off in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Torino, while midfielder Sami Khedira is available again after the German missed last week’s first leg through suspension.

The home side are still without Croatian winger Marko Pjaca who won’t return until next season after suffering an ACL injury on international duty back in March, while centre back Daniele Rugani is also still out with a leg injury.

Monaco will hand a late fitness to left-back Benjamin Mendy ahead of the second leg against Juventus, as the 22-year-old hopes to overcome a hamstring problem in time to play a part against Juventus.

Defender Almamy Toure is also a doubt for the away side due to a muscle problem, while striker Guido Carillo could return after a groin injury. Midfielder Boschilla is still out of contention with an ankle injury.

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