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Juventus v Porto Champions League Match Preview

March 13, 2017

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Juventus v Porto

Champions League –  Tuesday, 14th March – 19:45 GMT – Juventus Stadium


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Juventus

Juventus have a two goal advantage but can’t afford to take any chances when they host Porto in the second-leg of the Champions League last 16.

It’s been a controversial few days in Italy (and beyond), so a return to the ‘calmer waters’ of the Champions League almost feels like a blessing in disguise. The victory over Milan on Friday came in controversial fashion with the typical accusations of pro-Juve referees and a clear bias from the FIGC – Of course without the controversy, how would those headlines get written? Excuse my cynical tone, but the headlines in Italy and in other parts of the world have been vile and in another time and place, perhaps the club would have justification to take legal action against the likes of BeIN Sports and their ‘presenters’.

Putting aside the bile spewed forth by the journo’s, there was plenty to like about Juve’s approach against Milan and lots of positives to take from the game. We had 26 shots (12 on target) in comparison to Milan’s 6 (2 on target), dominated the possession for large periods, controlled the game from the off and kept the pressure on them until the last minute. Higuain was kept at bay by the heroics of Gigi Donnarumma, but even more impressive was the attacking workrate of young Marko Pjaca, who, despite not scoring, tested the young Milan keeper at least 4 times and should have ended the night with at least one goal to his name. He still has a way to go but there are encouraging signs from the young Croat who may finally have turned a corner and earned a starting place in Allegri’s team. The other positive was Dani Alves, deployed in a more attacking role – Without the added pressure of tracking back to defend, the Brazilian was much improved, playing with freedom and providing the assist for the Juve opener. At times, he marauds forward with gusto but neglects the defensive side of his game, so seeing him with the shackles off was fun to watch.

I like the 4-2-3-1 precisely because it gives us the freedom to make slight alterations and adjustments to change shape, depending on if we’re attacking or defending. 4-2-3-1 can become a more rigid 4-4-2 or even make way for 3-5-2 with just a single substitute and no let up in pressure. It’s a step forward for us at exactly the right time as we enter the business end of the season and hope to progress to the draw for the last 8 this Friday. So much is resting on this game, the tie is far from over, and it’d be foolish to think the job is done. Since last we met, Porto have played 3 league games, winning each match comfortably and without conceding; They put 7 past Nacional and 4 past Arouca last Friday and judging by the way their players have spoken in recent days, theres a real belief among their team that they can get a result in Turin. No room for complacency or sitting back.

Speaking in his press conference today, Max Allegri dropped a few hints on his starting XI and who may miss out the match.

“Everyone is fine apart from Sturaro who will be back with the squad in the coming days, I think he’ll be available for the match in Genoa against Sampdoria. We have these two games and then we have to try and manage our strength better, because we expended a lot on Friday. We’re coming from an intense period and we can’t afford to let our energy levels drop.

“Everybody is fine so tomorrow… ok, fine, I’ll tell you the starters. Tomorrow Marchisio will play. In terms of the centre-backs I’ll need to see, because Chiellini is back with the team, but I need to assess whether he can play tomorrow. So I have two questions, one at right-back and one in the middle.”

Gigi Buffon will start between the sticks and it seems unlikely that we’d deviate from a 4-man back line so Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Sandro will probably be the full-backs with Leo Bonucci and Chiellini in the centre of defence. Marchisio will start and Pjanic seems the more likely to play alongside him with Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain completing the starting XI.

Juventus squad V Porto: Buffon, Neto, Audero, Chiellini, Benatia, Alex Sandro, Barzagli, Bonucci, Dani Alves, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Pjanic, Khedira, Marchisio, Lemina, Asamoah, Rincon, Cuadrado, Higuain, Mandzukic, Pjaca, Dybala

 

Probable lineup: 

4-2-3-1: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Benatia, Sandro; Marchisio, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic, Higuain

Injuries:

Sturaro (abdomen).

Suspensions:

None.

 

Porto

Probable lineup: 

4-1-3-2Casillas; Pereira, Marcano, Felipe, Layún; Pereira; Brahimi, Torres, Corona; Silva, Soares

Injuries:

None

Suspensions:

Alex Telles

 

Formation

 

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  • ho Hi

    Lets win this. 3:1

  • BelgianJuventino

    I think Porto will start this game with guns blazing. And Juve should do the same, we cannot let Porto take the initiative, sit back and soak up pressure for 90 mins. We would only have to make one mistake for Porto to capitalise on and the pressure will increase tenfold when they smell blood.

    I hope we play this game as if it’s a league game, forget there was a first leg and go for a win.

    Besides that, I don’t know about you guys, but the rumors of Allegri leaving and having Spalletti or Sousa replace him terrify me.

    Neither of them is up to the task to win a CL. Sousa is far too much of a rookie and is doing average with an average squad. Spalletti has been rather bad in European games too.

    If not Allegri, it should be someone with international experience. I would name Simeone, but his Inter past vexes me too much to actually want him at the Juve bench

    • Storm

      I for once hope that we will see a game where the opposition is not terrified of us. We spend far to many games working on a deadlocked 11-man defensive. As you say, then Porto will probably give all they have and that should allow our attacking players to enjoy much more freedom and spaces.

      I look forward to an exciting game, that should extend our home record.

      To the whole manager debate. I feel that Allegri has a golden opportunity as some of the other European giants are looking for new managers. We have to remember that these clubs doesn’t change any day and in the end it comes down to Allegri’s ambition and desire. I do however hope that Allegri’s goal is to capture the CL trophy before thinking about leaving (for my taste he could have the treble as his goal).

      • BelgianJuventino

        I know what you mean, it can be tedious business, watching those games.. However, Porto has no reason to play defensively now, they have to score at least 2 goals for any chance of advancing, against a defense they know will be hard to break. The sole reason I can think of for them not to go full throttle from the start is energy management, yet I can’t see why that would be on their minds at this point.

        Porto WILL attack us and they will leave spaces in the back doing so. I also look forward to what should be an entertaining game.

        I don’t see any reason not to target a treble actually. It’s obviously an ambitious goal, but a team like this can do it. We have a relatively big lead in the League and hold an advantage in the semi’s of the coppa. Only a disaster will prevent us from playing quarterfinals in the CL..

        I hope Allegri stays with Juve, if not, I wish him well in his next endeavour and pray for a worthy replacement!

    • Mixalis Neskis

      Hi! I do not see why Allegri would like to leave though…! He is part of one of the most exciting projects in football , he is in his home country, good paid , the management shows ambition…and the CL is a viable goal every year!

      Only Barcelona can offer all the above , plus a chance to build his own team from scratch….but still, why would he want to do anything with Bertomeu , Pique and Co.? The Arsenal rumors is a joke, they have no ambition at all in winning anything more than the fourth place (and the CL money that comes along), plus Alexis and Ösil will most probably leave, leaving Arsenal without a reference point whatsoever.

      In any case, if he does leave, I would like us to get either Pochettino or Simone Inzaghi( Yes , yes he is not tested etc. but I like what I see him doing with Lazio 64% win rate is pretty impressive if you consider the talent of the team…).

      • Storm

        As I said earlier, ambition or new challenges could drive him. He only has one career.

      • Sebastián Quiceno

        Spot on. Allegri should target european silverware before leaving, if he can´t acheive it and leaves my top picks are:
        – Simeone is our single best chance for a coach. he has the right energy, grinta, knowledge, winning mentality and ambition.
        – Ancelotti
        – Pochettino
        – Lippi (to me will be the boss forever)
        From there on to me they are all the same and is anyone´s guess. Someone mentioned Jardim, I don´t know the guy that much. Spalletti might be decent, apart from them I think it is a gamble.

        • Gerald Quinn

          Simeone Would be a dream come true! i actually hope Allegri does leave just so we can have that chance! Allegri has a big energy and winning mentality ANYWAYS! let not good times fool you sir.

          Pochettino would be a pretty darn good Cancellation prize… But ive heard nothing on him leaving Totenham, but again i would take him over Allegri ANYDAY!

          I would not like Ancelotti after seeing his time at Bayern, it really showed his weak side.

          i’m afraid to say i dont know who Lippi is. … Enlighten me?

      • BelgianJuventino

        Agreed, but Allegri might want to test himself in a new league, new experiences, a substantial larger salary, money to throw at players he requests.. he has a fine project at Juve too, it depends on Allegri himself!

        I can imagine him at Arsenal, if he is willing to put up with an honestly average Squad to start out with..

        Dont know about replacements, I agree with the view on Inzaghi, but personally I just prefer an experienced coach.. someone who won a lot, like Ancelotti for example

      • Xx RForcE xX

        not sure about inzaghi

    • Xx RForcE xX

      what about M.Carrera, he is doing fantastic job with Spartak Moscow.

      • BelgianJuventino

        I liked what I saw when he was at Juve, but I think he also is too much of a rookie

        • Xx RForcE xX

          Conte was maybe the same rookie when took over at Juve.

          • BelgianJuventino

            Indeed. And that was the major problem in Europe, while he was great to win the league, we never really got far in the CL

  • E.Micallef

    Psg has presented a dossier against Uefa officials for the match against Barcellona contianing not one or two but fu… ten episodes. An investigation on the match will be held. I sincerly think Uefa is like Fifa under Blatter. The ref was tipped. My opinion.

    • BelgianJuventino

      I would love to see an honest investigation in that game. Barca has been getting away with blatant errors for years in the CL.. i still remember Ovrebo in their game against Chelsea

      • Xx RForcE xX

        it will never happen, barca is too big and important for uefa.

  • ho Hi

    Brahimi is super

  • JuventusBuffon

    Paulooooooooooooo

  • BelgianJuventino

    Oh boy, red card for Porto and a penalty for us, here we go again…

    • Xx RForcE xX

      juventus fixing matches rumours detected in 3…2…1…go , i cant wait for more BS from media.

      • Storm

        Even such a clear handball will be turned into conspiracy…… can’t wait for the arguments to come against us and as soon as they are shot down, the same people will say “but Calciopoli”…..same same but different

        • Xx RForcE xX

          these twats will always complain, cos it is everything they know.

      • E.Micallef

        I think i saw an offside on the goal action. There was clearly a guy with our gear eating popcorn beyond the defence. It should have been freekick to Porto. This ref was an insult. Be ashamed of yourself.

  • JuventusBuffon

    If Pjaca had better finishing he would no doubt be one of the best in the world.

    • Xx RForcE xX

      he is still very young, so can work on it.

  • B1anconer0

    Juve are showing moments of beautiful passing and combinations. It’s as if that final pass or shot is lacking though. Still, even when porto were with 11 they never had a chance of beating us.

  • B1anconer0

    Quick question for you guys. Which team do you want to face in the Qf and which team do you want to avoid?

    • ho Hi

      Bvb
      Man city
      Barca
      Bayern
      Real

    • Xx RForcE xX

      want: ManCity, Leicester
      no way: ATM, BVB

      • Gerald Quinn

        oh man i am dying to see Juve v BVB; The team to avoid at all cost is Bayern!, until the final

        • Xx RForcE xX

          I dont know, but i believe we could beat bayern this year. There is not much presure put on BVB, so they can be black horse this year.

    • BelgianJuventino

      Personally I would want City or Leicester, since they are the “weak” teams left in my view. To avoid, Barca and Bayern..

  • ho Hi

    Why not more goals? Typical Juve

    • Sebastián Quiceno

      Its smarter to save energy, avoid injuries, keep clean sheet. Tie is done deal.

      • ho Hi

        mate,you opened my eyes.forgot completely that fact!

      • Gerald Quinn

        However if we get Leacister, hopefully we go ALL OUT!!! those garbage nobady’s and snakes that make up that team, deserve to be raped and ridiculed for what they did to Ranieri!

  • BelgianJuventino

    Well, I definitely want to draw Leicester next 😛

    Gods, the draw will be tough. Possible opponents: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Leicester City and then likely Atletico Madrid and Manchester City

    • E.Micallef

      Leicester could be a very tricky draw.

      • BelgianJuventino

        They have only got teamwork, on individual quality they are by far the weakest team left imo.

        All the other teams have great teamwork too.

        We have faced off all of them in the last 2years actually, except Leicester. If it has to be a big team, give me Bayern. We have unfinished business there. Rather avoid them, but if we face a giant, which is close to impossible not to, let it be them

        • Gerald Quinn

          “They have only got teamwork, on individual quality they are by far the weakest team left imo.”
          – I 100% AGREE!!! plus them scums deserve to be ridiculed! if we do get matched hopefully we go all out and avenge Renieri with a 6+ scoreline!

          “If it has to be a big team, give me Bayern. We have unfinished business there”
          – You are a MAD MAN! from the remaining teams if any team can knock us out it will be Bayern, they are to be feared! I am not saying we cant win, I am saying that it is a coin flip, I do want to get revenge, but I wish it to be in the Final where it would be much sweeter, and also because I wouldn’t mind if Bayern wins the CL as well XD .. Let anyone but the Spanish win it!…Preferably Juve though!

        • Mixalis Neskis

          Agreed! But the last couple of “random” draws provided some really good hindsight for this years draw.

          So let us see:

          Real will have to face the easiest possible (on paper) team.
          So Real – Leicester

          The semis must have a derby…so either
          Barca- Atletico or Bayern – Dortmund or both…

          That leaves us with the winner from the Monaco – City pair or one of the derby matches teams if they do not pull the “both” scenario….

          In any case, I am excited about our chances for the final. If we manage to win the CL this year and get stronger in summer , we have a really good chance of writing football history as the first ever team to make a back to back with
          CL….

          • BelgianJuventino

            Hehe, it does seem like Real always gets the easy team, that much is true..
            Who knows, we’ve been of both ends recently, we(ve got Monaco, BVB and Bayern if memory serves me right. Got a feeling we’ll get Atletico.

            Ho ho, let’s first focus on winning this edition eh comrade! After that we can dream of back to back CL trophies 😛

            Let’s do a gamble for the draw this friday!
            Real – Leicester
            Barca – Man City
            Bayern – Dortmund
            Juve – Atletico

          • Mixalis Neskis

            You have to dream big mate. But I am dead serious about the back to back.Given that we can pretty much win anyone on our day, and the fact that the Roberi duo, CR and Messi show signs of slowing down, if we do manage to win it this year and get a couple of wordclass wingers in summer, we are set to start a european dynasty (at least in theory).

            By the way this is a great hashtag for the 6th scudetto right?

            #Dynasty

            As for the gamble you are on!! First of all I think Monaco will progress….apart from that, and in the same “UEFA fairness” spirit, a Barca – Atletico sells more than the Bayern – Dortmund, so I would go with :
            Real – Leicester
            Barca – Atletico
            Bayern – Monaco or Juve
            Juve – Dortmund or Bayern

          • BelgianJuventino

            Oh I do agree it is possible, but I try not to get carried away by the possibility! #SuckonthisInter sounds good too ;P

            It would be lovely if two of the 3 Spanish teams gets paired, means one is guaranteed to be eliminated. But I stick to my own predictions, I go for City beating Monaco, get paired with Barca and then most likely get demolished by them

        • E.Micallef

          I fear the surprise not the team. Somtimes there is an element of luck in these teams that you just can’t see. For me we can easily eat them for breakfast but i just fear they might be poisonous. You never know.

          • BelgianJuventino

            True, true.. They are the surprise packet. Yet I remain convinced they are the weakest team left to face. ( I think I don’t rate the PL teams highly at all, there is none I would fear in the slightest)

  • E.Micallef

    There was a man in the stand with a Juventus shirt clearly beyond Porto Defence. Be ashamed see the replay. Nothing ……. oh well ……. Be ashamed just the same

    • Xx RForcE xX

      you saw an offside, then a man with juve shirt eating popcorn?did you smoke something?

  • E.Micallef

    On a serious note there was no match between the two sides. Porto barely had three shots on goal in two matches. Im not afraid of anyone. Only the ones who beat the best are called the CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5 games to go

    • Gerald Quinn

      I only see BayernMunich as being able to take us out, And Real Madrid as well if they are focused, the rest we can easily take

  • Jas

    Bring on the next one! The game wasn’t really all that entertaining in my opinion. Porto never looked like they remotely stood a chance of scoring let alone winning. We played really solid, controlled the game start to finish so that was impressive. Few take aways from the game;
    – Cuadrado is completely useless sometimes, today seemed like he was begging for a red card.
    -Pjaca’s finishing is awful but my god does he have a ton of upside with pace, dribbling!
    -Not sure why Rugani didnt get any playing time, especially with Benatia taken out.
    -Alex Sandro has continued to impress, safe to say we have one of top 3 LB’s in the game, if not the best one!!

    I really hope we avoid Barca and Bayern next stage but somewhere on the road I do hope we play Bayern Munich! Revenge is inevitable and they owe us a rematch.

    • Gerald Quinn

      i say bring un BARCA!!! they aren’t even the shadow of their former selves and we need to beat them to prove to the drooling fan boys that we are better, and that Dybala > Messi. Barca’s win over PSG was 1. Paid or the Referee’s where really that stupid, and 2. Luck (does silly defensive errors) (Di Maria 1v1 miss)(2 free penalties).

      and true we need that Bayern rematch… But only for the final. The way i see it Bayern and R.Madrid are the only two teams who have a clear shot at beating us, against these two teams it’s a coin toss, the rest we can easily handle (assuming no injury’s)

    • BelgianJuventino

      Yeah was a boring game after all. Porto was rather toothless, though the red card obviously had a hand in that too. I don’t get Cuadrado, he’s either Superman saving us from a fire or an intoxicated sluggard!

      If we do get Bayern, I will sacrifice 12 virgins if I have to, in order to win that! I can’t bear another loss to them, not after that farce last season

      • Jas

        Lmfao that made me LOL around 20 people at work… don’t sacrifice them, if they’re off age send them my way lmao!

        • BelgianJuventino

          Haaahaaha, glad I could provide you with a fun moment mate!

  • VonKellef

    Does anyone know why we played with our third kit at home? Just seems strange.

    • BelgianJuventino

      I was wondering about that too, I guess for the best visibility? Juve in close to all white, Porto in close to all black.. Or perhaps for merchandising the third kit?

      • VonKellef

        I would put my money on the merchandising option. Next year I think our third kit will be forest green?

  • Gerald Quinn

    I am Dying to see a Juve V Atletico Madrid Match up!!! i am 100% positive we will come out on top and it will silence a lot of Spanish fan boys and haters!

    – If not Atletico, then hopefully we get Leacister City, And hopefully we Ridicule them with a (6+) – 0 score line and avenge Ranieri! those conniving snakes, nobody’s and scum of the sport deserve the WORST!

    – If none of those 2 then I at least hope we get Barca! to again silence the LaLiga worshipers and prove that Dybala > Messi, They are not to be feared, their win over PSG was pure luck! (Silly defensive errors)(horrible refereeing, 2 free penalties)(DiMaria failed 1v1)

    * THE TEAM TO AVOID AT ALL COST IS: Bayern Munich!!!! IF… IF there is any team in the pool that can win us in the final or even knock us out before the final… IF there is any team that has a chance of doing that to us is in the pool… IT IS BAYERN!!! … its not that i dont think we can win, but looking at the teams i am realistic and realize it is nothing but a coin toss! plus revenge would be much sweeter if it is in the final

    • Mixalis Neskis

      Nope! I am more of the “Eat the biggest frog first…” kind of fun. I would like to see as have either Bayern(it will be easier to beat them in double matches than on the final) or Barca(Dybala is nowhere near Messi(not a fun of him either) but I see Barca as the Inter of Spain, so I despice them as much.).

      As of the two Madrid clubs, they both try to duplicate the italian style of play(Real due to Zidane’s tutorship along Ancelotti and Simeone from his playing days) and if there is one thing Juventus can do well, is winning against italian clubs….!So one of the two would be ideal for the final…

      Weird thing….worshipers are everywhere nowdays…Leicester got through and the people in my home country(Greece) went Berserk….all I see on my favourite sport sites, are comments like PL> La Liga etc. They may be right, but the season is far from over, and I would not be suprised to see today Monaco trashing ManCity with ease….leaving only Leicester to defend their argument…..

      So my list for the semis seems like that:
      Bayern – Barca – Monaco – Atletico – Real – Dortmund – Leicester

      • Gerald Quinn

        lol glad to see i’m not the only one who hates Barca, however i do think Dyabla is near Messi, I give Dybala 2 seasons MAX and he will be at Messi’s level. I to sense a comeback from Monaco, i was Surprised they where beat so easily by MCity the first time, At least they got 3 away goals though, i can see Monaco beating MCity 2-0 if not just win by aggregate on home turf; Monaco isnt a household name like ManCity but anyone who has seen them play recently knows that that tie is no where near finished! Hopefully Monacco comes out on top today.

        • Mixalis Neskis

          Is not that I hate them really, I just hate the attidute of all those “I started watching football in 2009” funs of them, who think Barca is the best team the planet has ever seen, whereas they neglect the fact that, was it not for the calciopoli fiasco, and that idiot Perez of Real , they would still be looking at the backs of teams like Juve, Milan, Real! They, as their italian alter ego, were always habe been whinning losers(2009-2016 they conquered pretty much everything and the only step forward was to put a sponsor on their shirt, and now they are crying because they cannot afford to offer Messi a new contract), and it is about time to put everyone back to his place.

          Monaco is a super talented team with a very ambitious coach, and given Peps inability to influence a match if it does not go his way , I think they have a really good chance to progress to the semis.

          Dybala is not near Messi. In two years Dybala will be 25, by that age Messi was already considered one of the greatest ever, and has it not been for the CR beast, he would have been hands down football’s GOAT. Apart from that, I do not see Dybala being that integral to Juventus this year, I actually feel ,even if it sounds like a blasphemy to you, that if we were to bence him and play Pjanic as trequartista, will could become a lot more lethal.

          • Gerald Quinn

            Ha ha ” Blasphemy” Kill the heathen!!! lol jk, yea you make a good point, by 25 Messi was already messi, and Dybala is still trying to make a name for himself. However once CR7 and Messi Retire Dybala will be around 27/28, i see Dybala being the best in the world at that time…cus i mean whoelse? no one comes to mind that can reach Messi other than Dybala he is the closest thing yet.

          • Mixalis Neskis

            In that sense you are right my friend! Let us hope he stays with until then, or if not, be sold for big money…..

  • Michael McHugh

    Hi, I was just wondering the champions league quarter final in the 11/12 of April. does this mean our match with chievo will be moved which is on the 9th of April?