French Ligue One club Monaco are enjoying a fantastic campaign. They are currently top of their domestic league and in the semi-final of the Champions League, where they will face Juventus on Wednesday night.
Juventus represent difficult opposition for the French league leaders. However, that will not worry the fearless young team from the principality.
All season long they have been defying expectations. They will no doubt go into their Champions League semi-final first leg in high spirits.
Threats from everywhere in the team
Leonardo Jardim’s team have scored 95 goals in Ligue One. In the last 16 and quarter-finals of this competition they have also managed to score six goals over their two-legged ties. The team’s swashbuckling style encouraged by Jardim has yielded great rewards this season.
One of the main factors in Monaco’s current team is that there is not just one player that scores the goals. Jardim’s team can score goals from everywhere in the team.
If you subdue Kylian Mpabbe there is Radamel Falcao, then there is the midfielders like Boschillia, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva. Even defensive players Kamil Glik and Fabinho have got in on the act when it comes to scoring goals this season.
In the last round, the key to Juventus making it past Barcelona was that they subdued the Catalan giant’s fearsome attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. However, Monaco are a different animal completely. The Italian sidse will have to subdue the whole of the Jardim’s team, which few have managed during the current campaign.
First leg victory needed
Monaco are unlikely to change their winning formula of this season against Juventus. The first leg of this tie at the Stade Louis ll will be key to whether the team from the principality progress. Monaco are in great form having won 13 of their last 15 games in all competitions.
The only games where they have slipped up were in a two-legged tie against title rivals PSG in the French Cup. However, there was a feeling that Monaco’s attention was elsewhere in both of those ties.
Five wins in their last seven Champions League outings also illustrates their ability to keep winning at the top level. Their record at the Stade Louis ll in the Champions League is very good of late. Jardim’s team have won eight of their last nine games on home soil in Europe’s elite competition.
Juventus’ recent away record is not great either, as the Bianconeri have won just two of their last seven games on their travels in all competitions. Despite all their experience, Juventus will know that this tie represents a major test of their presence in the Champions League.
Jardim’s team will hope to establish a lead at the Stade Louis ll, as the Bianconeri’s home record at the Juventus Stadium is formidable. The men from Turin are 18 games unbeaten on home soil in the Champions League, so Monaco face a major challenge in the second leg.
Juventus are the favourites
Despite the two team’s respective teams home and away records, Juventus head into the first leg clash as favourites at odds of 6/4. It would take a brave man to write-off Monaco’s chances of at least recording a first leg win.
The current Juventus team does have a lot of experience and quality. However, Monaco offers an explosive challenge in this tie. Any game at this stage of any team will be dangerous opposition. Juventus’ 12 game unbeaten run in Europe’s elite competition could be under serious threat at the Stade Louis ll.
This tie has the potential to be a highly intriguing one. It is a clash of two of contrasting styles, with an exciting attacking team against a team that are expertly organised. Monaco certainly cannot be written-off. They have the quality and confidence to upset the Juventus applecart that is for sure.
Can Monaco upset Juventus in the Champions League?
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