A two goal deficit shouldn’t be an insurmountable task for a Monaco squad that has scored nearly 150 goals in all competitions this season, but when it has to happen at the J Stadium, it feels like one. Juve haven’t conceded in six straight Champions League matches, and only once at home in the competition, where they’re unbeaten in 22 consecutive European matches. Monaco certainly had chances to score in the first leg (you could argue even the better chances of the two squads), but a number of point-blank saves from Gigi Buffon earned Juve a clean sheet. Benjamin Mendy returns to Monaco’s squad after missing the first leg with a hamstring injury. If he’s able to start it would be a huge boost after Dani Alves put in a man-of-the-match display against Mendy’s replacement, providing assists for both goals. While Monaco have come back from being down two goals previously in the knockout stages (they lost 5-3 in the first leg away at Manchester City), the assignment for Juventus is routine for them - put in an assured defensive display at home and book yourself a ticket to Cardiff.
Over the summer, Italian champions Juve robbed their biggest Serie A rivals of their best talent - taking the league’s top goalscorer, Gonzalo Higuain, away from second-place finishers Napoli and the most productive midfielder, Miralem Pjanic, from Roma, who finished third. With their domestic season looking comfortable, you’d expect Juventus to put their focus on winning the Champions League for the first time since 1996, with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte starting in midfield. While they’ll certainly miss the loss of Paul Pogba, they’ve reinforced enough over the summer that they are considered among the favorites to reach the final.
Runners-up in the Champions League in 1994, the principality’s club spent last season in the Europa league while finishing third in Ligue 1. Monaco struggled to find a reliable threat up top last season with Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar joint top scorers in the league with five goals apiece. To that end, Falcao is back from his disappointing loans in the Premier League with hopes to revive his career. Otherwise, Les Rouges et Blancs will look to the Portuguese duo of João Moutinho and the aforementioned Silva to control matches and create chances. They’ll face a difficult, but not impossible group which will include a trip to Moscow and matchups against Spurs and Bayer Leverkusen.
Scored a Serie A-record 36 league goals for Napoli last season.
The heart and soul of Juve for over 15 years and 460+ appearances, even as they were relegated to Serie B following the Calciopoli betting scandal.
The versatile midfielder has made nearly 100 appearances for both the Portuguese national team and Monaco.
Scored 11 goals in 19 appearances in his last season at Monaco, before being injured in halfway through the season.