Friday, November 17, 2017

Prediction: Juventus vs AS Monaco

Verdict: Juventus to win to nil

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Serie A champions Juventus are set to welcome French hot-shots AS Monaco in the return leg on the Champions League semifinal tie on Tuesday night, with one foot already in Cardiff after a compelling two-goal away win at Stade Louis II.

Juventus

Gonzalo Higuain’s brace in France last week was a huge step towards the final in Cardiff for Max Allegri’s men, who made sure to leave a firm footprint and claim their bid towards the showpiece event of Europe’s most luxurious club competition. It’s been too long since Juventus last won a European crown and the current generation of players feels as motivated as ever to finally make the big step after missing out on the title back in 2015. The Old Lady did great to mute a highly-attacking side and one of the most exciting teams on the continent last time out which is another testament of Juventus’ raw strength. Italy’s greatest carry a huge lead heading into the replay match and will sure look to remain level-headed and preserve their fantastic defensive record. Juventus have conceded only two Champions League goals this season, both of those during the group stage. Their overall home record is even more impressive as Juventus are undefeated on home ground this season. A run of 14 straight wins on home ground was ended this week with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Torino however. Juventus missed the chance to seal their sixth consecutive Serie A title with a win over their city rivals as they were forced to work hard to salvage a point. Gonzalo Higuain continued his great form with a 90th-minute equalizer which now keeps Juventus seven points ahead of AS Roma in the standings.

Team News

The likes of Pjanic, Higuain, Dani Alves, Gigi Buffon and Chiellini among others are expected to resume their place in the starting line-up.

Max Allegri will have no fresh injury scares as Juventus remains with Daniele Rugani and Marko Pjaca as their only two unavailable players.

AS Monaco

Leonardo Jardim were quick to get back to winning ways following a disappointing loss in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal. AS Monaco managed to restore the three-point lead ahead of Paris Saint-Germain with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Nancy over the weekend. The high-scoring side is now sitting on verge of the 100-goal mark in Ligue 1 and will definitely look for a chance to make amends for the 2-0 defeat in Turin. It will be easier said than done however as Kylian Mbappe and co. will once again be facing one of the strongest defense lines in Europe. Monaco have won seven of hteir last eight matches on the road, but a trip to Juventus will be a challenge of its own. Leonardo Jardim will have a serious challenge in trying to make his players get over the first-leg defeat and boost their spirits. We witnessed a nervous and anxious Monaco in the first leg and the Principality club needs to get back to its trademark play if they want to make their presence known in Italy on Tuesday. Jardim also made a couple of first-team changes at the weekend in order to keep his stars like Mbappe fresh for the big game, which is definitely going to be quite an openly-contested affair.

Team News

Tiemoue Bakayoko was sorely missed in the first leg and Leonardo Jardim will be hopeful the powerful holding player will be fit to take some part in the game.

Boschilia and Nguinda Ndiffon remain the two long-term absentees with their respective knee problems.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Juventus are yet to concede during the Champions League knockout stages
  • Bianconeri won 14 and lost only one of their last 15 matches in all competitions
  • Gonzalo Higuain scored 3 goals in his last two matches for Juventus
  • Monaco either won or lost their last 4 matches across all competitions
  • Principality club won 7 of their last 8 matches on the road

Conclusion

AS Monaco have nothing to lose and no time to waste as they prepare to go full in attack against Juventus. The high-scoring side’s attacking potential will once again be put to a serious test as Juventus’s defense line in arguably the best in Europe. The hosts will bid their time and try to execute a timely counter measures with at least one goal which is likely to solve the entire tie.

Verdict: Juventus to win to nil

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

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