Juventus v Monaco



Paolo Menicucci: Juventus limited Borussia Dortmund to five shots on target in 180 minutes of the 5-1 UEFA Champions League round of 16 aggregate win. "They defend well and passionately," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp, "and are incredibly dangerous in transition." The return from injury of centre-back Andrea Barzagli certainly facilitates the first part, while the pace of Álvaro Morata and Carlos Tévez helps explain the rest.

Ian Holyman: AS Monaco FC had the best defensive record of the group stage, and their overall tally of four goals conceded in eight games this term says it all. A near-watertight back line has been crucial as the Ligue 1 side reached their first UEFA Champions League quarter-final since 2003/04. Monaco's rearguard got them beyond Arsenal FC yet further progress will depend on how well Leonardo Jardim's men contain Juventus's attacking talents.


Paolo Menicucci: Coach Massimiliano Allegri has lost Paul Pogba (thigh) and another key midfielder, Claudio Marchisio (knee), is a doubt. Andrea Pirlo should be back soon from a calf injury and Arturo Vidal – superb in Dortmund – seems close to his best form, but losing two pieces of their formidable midfield quartet is certainly a heavy blow for the Bianconeri.

Ian Holyman: If stopping goals hasn't been a problem for Monaco, scoring them has. Les Rouge et Blanc have created few opportunities in their eight matches so far. The three strikes they registered in London in their last-16 first leg at Arsenal nearly doubled their competition haul – and they barely looked like finding the net in the return fixture.


Paolo Menicucci: The display at Dortmund confirmed that Juve have hit their peak in the most important part of the season. The Bianconeri are in the driving seat to claim a fourth consecutive Scudetto, with their advantage so great that boss Allegri could even afford to give a deserved rest to some main players.

Ian Holyman: Second-from-bottom in early September, Monaco's domestic fortunes have improved along with their European prospects. Having lost only once in 11 Ligue 1 outings in 2015, last year's runners-up have a realistic chance of a top-three finish – an unthinkable outcome in the initial phase of the campaign.

Possible starting XI
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichsteiner, Marchisio, Pirlo, Vidal, Evra; Morata, Tévez.

Monaco: Subašić; Fabinho, Carvalho, Abdennour, Kurzawa; Toulalan, Kondogbia; Dirar, Moutinho, Ferreira-Carrasco; Berbatov.


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