The second of this week’s Champions League semi-final first legs is the intriguing meeting between Monaco and Juventus.
AS Monaco has taken Europe by storm this season, as their free-scoring young squad looks the favourite to win the French Ligue 1, and is sitting 3 points above PSG with a game in hand. The talented squad has reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 13 years, beating the likes of Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in the process.
Juventus, one of the great teams in Europe, having already secured the Serie A title, for the sixth season in a row, has their eyes set on the Champions League. The Old Lady will be looking to amend for their loss in the Champions League final at the hands of Barcelona, 2 seasons back. They already avenged some of their agonies as they dismantled Barcelona in the Quarter-finals over the course of the 2 legs.
Free-scoring Monaco will look to break down the best defence in Europe when they host Juventus. Juventus boast the tightest defence in Europe’s top club competition, with just two goals conceded in this season’s Champions League so far.
“Even Barcelona could not score in two games against them so it will be complicated for us”, said Monaco defender Kamil Glik.
It’s a big game for Kylian Mbappe, one of the most sought-after talents in Europe. The teenager has already made his impact on the football world this season. The 18-year-old has netted 18 goals in his last 18 competitive games, including three in the 6-3 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals.
“Monaco have technical and tactical qualities as well as talented young players,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.
“They do not have the same history as Juventus but that does not mean it will be easy for us to make it to the final,” he added.
Midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko is a doubt for Monaco due to a broken nose suffered in a training ground accident with team-mate Glik.
Juventus will be without defender Daniele Rugani due to a knee injury and midfielder Sami Khedira, who is serving a one-game suspension.
The sides have faced each other twice before on the Champions League stage with Juventus winning both ties, in the 1998 semi-finals and the 2015 quarters.