Juventus are top favourites to reach the finals of the Champions League 2016-17 as they prepare to face Monaco in the semifinals of the competition on Wednesday, May 3. Monaco stands on Juventus' way, and if the Italian giants are below par, one can expect Monaco to stun the visitors as the French team has been enjoying a dream run in the competition.
The Italian club has played some wonderful football in the competition so far, beating quality teams like Porto and Barcelona to reach the last four. Now, they will hope to send Monaco home, and with players such as Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic, who are known for their goal-scoring ability, they should not have much trouble.
Juventus might have faced Monaco four time in the Champions League, and defeated them twice, but they are aware that the French team can prove to be difficult. Especially, if one looks at their clash in Champions League quarterfinals in 2014/15 season, which ended 1-0 across two legs, the Italians will know about the task that lies ahead.
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Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri is aware of their attacking players, who can create problems in the encounter.
"I hope we'll become the first team to beat Monaco in this stadium in this competition this season. They play very direct football and they're very different from the side we faced two years ago. Monaco in 2015 were stronger defensively and now they're stronger as an attacking unit. Monaco score a lot of goals, especially at the end of matches. We'll need to produce two big performances," Champions League's official website quoted Allegri as saying.
The talk may be all be about Juventus and their star players for this encounter, but experts have not forgotten Monaco's ride in the competition. It has been a fairytale run, knocking out teams like Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.
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Monaco are a team, which loves to play attacking football. The best thing about this is clash is that Monaco can play pressure-free football. They have already exceeded expectations. Anything above this would be a huge bonus.
Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim wants his team to be strong on defence against a solid attacking unit of Juventus.
"Juventus have a winning culture. They are well organised and physical defensively. In attack they are strong and they really only need two chances to score one. They are clinical and very good at set pieces. They are very hard to defend against," Jardim said.
Juventus might have a brilliant attacking line, but one cannot ignore the skills of Monaco stars including Radamel Falcao, Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappe. If the trio play their best, anything can happen in the first leg of the semifinals.
Where to watch
The Champions League semi-final match between Monaco vs Juventus is set to start at 7.45 pm local time, 12.15 am IST and 2.45 pm EST.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV: TEN 3. Live streaming: Sony Liv.
Italy: Premium Sport HD.
France: TV: beIN Sports. Live streaming: beIN Sports connect.
UK: TV: BT Sport 2. Live Streaming: Watch BT Sport.
USA: TV: Fox Sports 1. Live streaming: Fox Soccer 2 Go.
Middle East, Spain: TV: beIN Sports. Live streaming: beIN Sports connect.
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