Match Review Champions League

Juventus v Monaco Champions League Preview

May 8, 2017 - 8:43 pm


Juventus v AS Monaco

Champions League –  Tuesday, 9th May – 19:45 GMT – Juventus Stadium



It’s been a remarkable season so far for Juve and it only seems to be getting better with each game, especially in the Champions League where the progression and improvement has been most evident. The first-leg in Monaco (much like the game against Barcelona) highlighted the flexibility of the team to maximum effect as they shifted between 3-4-2-1 when in possession to 4-4-2 when defending, seamless changing shape as the game progressed, every player fully aware of his role. It’s a testament to the hard work of the players and also to Max Allegri who has made subtle and significant changes to take us within 90 minutes of the final.

The weekend game was something of a disappointment, especially as it was a derby against Torino and I counted at least 4 clear-cut chances to open the scoring in the first half; The approach and attitude was perfect as we dominated for large portions of the game and created numerous opportunities, however we lacked that clinical and ruthless edge which sometimes seems to go missing when Higuain isn’t on the pitch. There was a hat trick of chances for Mario Mandzukic alone and it was a real shame to see the 33-game winning streak at the JStadium come to end. I can only imagine that the players’ minds were elsewhere and despite the feeling of an opportunity missed, it might be a blessing in a way – We had a similar result/performance against Atalanta a few weekends back and that served as an important lesson for the players ahead of the first-leg against Monaco.

With 2 vital away goals scored in France, the temptation is to look to the final and start thinking about Real Madrid, but Allegri, as always, is keeping the players and the supporters grounded:

“Tomorrow we’re playing against Monaco and we still have to qualify for the final.

“We have to win in order to get to Cardiff. Monaco have nothing to lose, they have players that can cause great difficulties.

“Dani Alves? He’s in a good run of form, like the rest of the team. After his injury, we found an important player that brings us experience.

“Tomorrow’s choices? I still have to decide whether to play Barzagli or Cuadrado.

“Marchisio can be a great gamechanger, like Pjanic was on Saturday.

“What must Juve do tomorrow? Play an aggressive game, play well technically and even better than we did in Monaco, where we were often wrong, with more patience.

“Still, we’re in a beautiful spell. We’re in full swing.

“We still have to win the Scudetto, so we’ll think about getting to the final in Cardiff first and then Roma.

“The point against Torino? It was crucial not to drop points on Saturday. We won 33 times in a row at home, and sooner or later it had to stop.

“Games are there to be won, but when you can’t, it’s important not to lose them.

“What mustn’t be done tomorrow? We mustn’t worry about winning by force, but at the same time we have to play the match as if it was a dry one.

“We have to face it with that mentality.”

The word from Monaco suggests they’ll field the same starting XI with no changes to lineup or tactics, which would likely mean that Allegri will field the same 3-4-2-1 style formation that worked to such great effect a week ago. Pushing Dani Alves a little further up the pitch and having Andrea Barzagli on the right of the back-three helped limit Kylian Mbappé to handful of chances while giving the Brazilian full-back more license to get forward in support of the attack. It evidently paid off in great fashion as Alves provided the assists for Gonzalo Higuain’s goals while turning in one of his best performance so far this season.

The starting XI really writes itself in a game of this magnitude: Gigi Buffon was rested at the weekend with this game in mind while Giorgio Chiellini wasn’t risked either, especially when you factor in his exceptional displays in the Champions League this season. Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli will make up the back line with Alex Sandro at left wing-back, Alves on the right, while Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic make up the midfield pairing. Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala will likely sit in behind lone striker Gonzalo Higuain, aiming to push into the wide areas when possible.

Probable lineup: 

3-4-2-1: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Dani Alves, Khedira, Pjanic, Alex Sandro; Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain


Pjaca (knee), Rugani (fibula)





AS Monaco

Probable lineup: 

4-4-2: Subasic; Sidibe, Jemerson, Glik, Mendy; Silva, Fabinho, Bakayoko, Lemar; Falcao, Mbappe


Boschilia, Toure





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  • Avatar
    Dar Black May 8, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Fingers crossed… If my other team Forest stay up (as they have) and Juve get to the final it’s like football xmas come early 🙂

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet May 9, 2017 at 8:54 am

      I had similar thoughts, connected between my anglo and italian clubs with the Gills…who stayed up on the last day, not because they fought their way out of trouble but because they were slightly less appalling than Port Vale.

      Welcome write-up, Rav…I would say the formation is much more slanted towards a 4-3-1-2. Barzagli spent the majority of his game in the Rb role, whether we were attacking or defending, from my weary 430am rising eyes anyway! I get the shape, and idea, and was surprised at the old man’s legs, yet more astonished by the athleticism shown by Alves whose movement heading up and down the field was superb.

      No live transmission for this one down here, and so I will have to either try to avoid the result from the demented natives all day, one of whom will surely spoil any tension for me, as they are generally like europeans at 8-10, even when physically adults…they see it as a joke to tell me the score, by holding up 3 fingers for 3-0, or suggesting that the game was a bit stale for both sides…they think its funny but its damn annoying and inspires me to threaten to cut their faces off…

      Glad Forest stayed up, DB and unlike the Gills, showed some fight and bottle and grabbed at the destiny in their own hands. Just as well with Blackburn winning.

      • Avatar
        Dar Black May 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm

        Hurrah for the Gills too! Now, here is to the big prize with Juve…

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    YellowTheNaijaBianconero May 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Yea, hurts to see the consecutive wins come to an end , but it had to someday, and better Toro than Inter, or Roma or Napoli(in descending order).
    For today’s game, i would really like us to just keep it simple, score before 15minutes elapse and keep another clean sheet.
    From Nigeria, i’ll be cheering for the team i’ve cheered for since 2002… Forza Juve! Fino Alla Fine!!

    • Avatar
      DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      And from Holland, so will i 🙂 Forza Juve!

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    Moderator May 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

    It’s about time to say it – This is our best chance of winning the damn thing in some time. I suspect Monaco will throw everything at us from the get go, hopefully we weather the storm and get a goal before HT to secure the result.

    If we can secure a treble, along with all the other work being done on the other aspects of the team, we could be looking at a new era of Juve dominance in Europe. I don;t see a single team out there that is better than us.

    • Avatar
      Sebastián Quiceno May 9, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      Well said.

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    E.Micallef May 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    You see i made a lot of mistakes during my life. We all do. I one day went out during a sunday afternoon cause they told me Sunday is for going out enjoy the air. We were thrasing Udinese 1 4 on that day. The same person on that day told me to get out of the car cause it was if I was not there. They quit on me.

    You see all these years i dreamt of seeing Juve become Legends. The type of Legends you dream you read about in books or fairytails.

    Then came 2006. I woke up early morning every single day. I wept. I cried. I wept again. From that day i dreamt of the day. This summer i went to my local provider and asked him to supply to prepare for me a certain coloured kit with a name on it. He told me you never but a named kit. I told him he is the one ……….

    2 games to go

  • Avatar
    Sebastián Quiceno May 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    God is good! 3-4-1-2 I am a happy man 😀 Lets grab this UCL once and for all. It belongs to us this year.

    Fino Alla Fine!

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 9, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Lets make it to the final tonight!!

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 May 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Let’s get to the final and finally win this cup again, it’s been too long! Forza Juve

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I was wondering this last week too. What is Glik doing in a champions league semi final?

  • Avatar
    ho Hi May 9, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    This will so tough

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 7:20 pm


  • Avatar
    Sebastián Quiceno May 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Thank God. Praise the LORD. God is good!

    • Avatar
      DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      Mario is good too :p

      • Avatar
        Sebastián Quiceno May 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm

        Subasic is also imppresive. Would he like to stay in Torino?

        • Avatar
          DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm

          True. He denied us some goals.

  • Avatar
    JuventusBuffon May 9, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Next stop, Cardiff

  • Avatar
    Sebastián Quiceno May 9, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Oh my God what a goal.

  • Avatar
    JuventusBuffon May 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm


    • Avatar
      Sebastián Quiceno May 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      What a cracker

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 May 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    What an amazing team this is !! Love it !

  • Avatar
    Papilaya(John)™★★★ May 9, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Alves purchase of the season. Been involve in so many goals in the cl knockout rounds.

    • Avatar
      Peter May 9, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      He’s the one pushing us through Monaco. Two assists on the away game, an assist and a goal today. I want to hate him, but he’s too good.

      • Avatar
        Dar Black May 9, 2017 at 7:41 pm

        He’s calmed down a bit with the ego, that has helped him be a bit more likeable.

        • Avatar
          E.Micallef May 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

          He is better than cuad on that flank

          • Avatar
            Papilaya(John)™★★★ May 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm

            Hes better than at least 95% people in the world on that right flank haha

          • Avatar
            Dar Black May 10, 2017 at 8:46 pm

            Sure thing, I never said he wasn’t!

        • Avatar
          Papilaya(John)™★★★ May 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

          I dont think hes ever had an ego. He said he was the scape goat at Barca. Scape goats are usually humble

      • Avatar
        Papilaya(John)™★★★ May 9, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        Im starting to feel the more we hate on players, the more they perform haha.

        Alves was a target amongst fans because he was chosen over lich

        • Avatar
          Peter May 9, 2017 at 7:46 pm

          Haha, I hope so. I want that fat bastard to score too! 😛

          • Avatar
            Papilaya(John)™★★★ May 9, 2017 at 7:47 pm

            And that stupid looking kid with the shit haircut!(jk dybala is very handsome)

          • Avatar
            DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 8:08 pm

            I have always hated Marchisio. Now he can score the winning goal in the cl final 😀

  • Avatar
    Jas May 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Dani alves looks to be a better free transfer than Pirlo was, don’t shame me in saying it but CL is where always come up short… until now. Mendy is putting in some fine work on the left but so far it’s been contained, hats off to the defensive line. If we’re not favorites for the trophy we’re at last tied in terms of odds.

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 May 9, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Wtf is this? Glik that fucker! I hope higuain is alright we cannot lose him

  • Avatar
    JuventusBuffon May 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Glik fucking pussy

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Stretches his leg to hit Higuain then runs to apologise. Dirty bastard.

  • Avatar
    DutchJuventus May 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    We made it, 1 more to go 🙂

  • Avatar
    JuventusBuffon May 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm


  • Avatar
    ho Hi May 9, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    I hope theres nothing happen in the catacombs with Higu and Glik!

    • Avatar
      DutchJuventus May 10, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      He’s probably somewhere in the streets of Torino in a lot of pain right now. He won’t make it back to Monaco ;p

  • Avatar
    Xx RForcE xX May 9, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    its all done, we are going to cardiff, kamil glik fuck you , you polish scum.

    • Avatar
      ho Hi May 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Real scum.

      • Avatar
        Jas May 10, 2017 at 1:42 am

        Hopefully Fifa suspends him as he was actually trying to injure gonzalo.

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 May 9, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Juve need to be more clinical in the final if they want to win it. They had at least 3 clear chances to score that they didn’t convert. One from dybala and i believe 2 from higuain. But apart from that i couldn’t say anything negative.

    What would be the best formation for the final? Dani alves higher up the pitch with barzagli behind like these last 2 games or cuadrado with dani behind him?

    • Avatar
      Xx RForcE xX May 10, 2017 at 4:23 am

      there was a lot more clear chances dybala, higuain 2x, mandzu 2x, pjanic, plus 2 goals hoho that would be ice hockey after first half lol

    • Avatar
      DutchJuventus May 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      We were extremely clinical in the first game against Monaco. But yes i agree. Mandzukic also had a clear chance. Dybala maybe should have passed it to someone else. His angle was quite difficult.

      I’m not great at formations but i was pretty impressed by the team from the last 2 games. But i’ve also been impressed by Cuadrado lately. I think he’s been really good. Obviously we’ll need to adjust the formation and line up to what Real has. Up to Allegri, that’s why he gets paid :p

      • Avatar
        Xx RForcE xX May 10, 2017 at 4:50 pm

        tbh dutch, cuadrado was maybe the worst man on the pitch yesterday in black &white.

  • Avatar
    A True Gentleman Never Leaves May 10, 2017 at 3:47 am

    best game so far of ther season to me the way we share the ball and play

    • Avatar
      A True Gentleman Never Leaves May 10, 2017 at 3:48 am

      to me juve at they best since 2003

      • Avatar
        Papilaya(John)™★★★ May 10, 2017 at 5:09 am

        This is a world class Juve team. Anyone who says other wise need to learn how to read. Just looking at it on paper says it.

  • Avatar
    Sebastián Quiceno May 10, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Ateltico is cerntainly showing heart

    • Avatar
      Xx RForcE xX May 11, 2017 at 6:35 am

      not enough, 1998 – it is payback time white bitches!