Juventus host Atletico Madrid in the second leg of a heavyweight Champions League round of 16 encounter at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side have to do it all in Turin after losing 2-0 in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, as goals from Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez secured the advantage on aggregate for Los Rojiblancos.
Diego Simeone’s side arrive in the second leg in good form, knowing that a similarly resolute defensive display to the first leg in Madrid should be enough for Atletico to see through what would be a statement victory over one of the competition’s favourites.
However, Juventus have responded well to the shock of defeat in the first leg, most recently claiming a comfortable 4-1 victory over Udinese with a heavily rotated side, keeping a number of star players fresh for Tuesday’s colossal clash in Turin.
Check out 90min’s preview of what is set to be a huge European encounter.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 12 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Allianz Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 3|
Juventus will line up for the match with a relatively fresh side after Allegri rotated his team for the Bianconeri’s previous outing in Serie A, preserving the fitness of multiple star players for Tuesday’s clash.
The Italian champions will continue to be without Juan Cuadrado, who continues to recover following knee surgery, whilst midfielder Sami Khedira remains unavailable due to a heart condition. However, Douglas Costa could return from a hamstring injury, but left back Alex Sandro will be suspended for the clash due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Meanwhile, Atletico are contending with a number of injury concerns in defence which could hinder their hopes of halting Juventus’ star-studded attack with the kind of success which saw them claim victory in the first leg.
Captain Diego Godin missed Saturday’s 1-0 win over Leganes in La Liga with a muscular injury which could also keep the Uruguayan out of Tuesday’s clash, whilst Simeone’s problems at left back continue with the absence of Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis.
Costa has also been struggling with muscular problems, which could see on-loan forward Alvaro Morata start alongside Antoine Griezmann in attack. Meanwhile, Thomas Partey will miss the clash through suspension.
|Juventus||Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala; Mandzukic, Ronaldo|
|Atletico Madrid||Oblak; Arias, Savic, Gimenez, Juanfran; Correa, R.Hernandez, Saul, Koke; Griezmann, Morata|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have met eight times previously, with Juventus boasting a marginally superior record over Atletico.
Significantly, the La Liga side’s only wins over Juventus have come at home, having beaten the Italians three times and lost once in Madrid, whilst they have lost three and drawn one away in Turin – spelling a potentially positive omen for a Juventus fightback on Tuesday.
However, the Italians have not beaten Atletico since a 3-1 victory in the 1964/65 season, and Diego Simeone’s famously regimented approach is set to pose a stiff test for Allegri’s side in their efforts to overturn the first leg deficit.
Juventus’ 2-0 defeat to Atletico in the first leg was a significant blow to the Bianconeri’s hopes of claiming a first European crown since 1995/96, but Allegri’s side have since responded well in maintaining their quest to retain the Serie A title.
Three consecutive league wins, including a dramatic triumph over title rivals Napoli, have steered the champions well on course to claiming a 35th domestic title. However, European glory is threatening to elude the Italian giants once again ahead of Tuesday’s clash.
Meanwhile, Atletico have continued their own strong league form since their victory over Juventus in the first leg.
Simeone’s side have recorded three consecutive La Liga victories over Villareal, Real Sociedad and Leganes to keep Los Rojiblancos as the closest challengers to leaders Barcelona.
Here is a look at how both sides have fared in their last five outings:
Juventus 4-1 Udinese
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Leganes
|Napoli 1-2 Juventus
|Real Sociedad 0-2 Atletico Madrid
|Bologna 0-1 Juventus
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Villareal
|Atletico Madrid 2-0 Juventus
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Juventus
Juventus 3-0 Frosinone
|Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Juventus certainly have the armoury required to overcome the 2-0 deficit from the first leg, but Allegri’s side have struggled to produce their highest technical level on a consistent basis this term, and may struggle to break down one of the most notoriously stout defences in Europe.
The Bianconeri generally find the back of the net at home, but Atletico will pose a clear threat on the counter attack. Juve’s need to press forward in search of goals could play into Atletico’s hands, particularly in terms of Griezmann’s famed ability to break in behind the opposition’s defence.
With Atletico able to play out the tie on their own terms with a strong advantage from the first leg, Simeone’s side are unlikely to be easily budged from a commanding position and should have enough to see the result through.
Prediction: Juventus 1-1 Atletico Madrid