UEFA Champions League preview: Monaco v Juventus Prediction – Stade Louis II – Semi-finals – 1st leg clash – 3 May, 2017
It will be the clash of two very contrasting styles. While Monaco's Leonardo Jardim is attack-oriented, his Wednesday's counterpart, Massimiliano Allegri, has a more pragmatic approach. It incorporates stodgy defending and vicious hit-on-the-breaks attacks.
Teams have entered the field with trepidation at the prospect of the 18-year old wonder and the comeback king, Radamel Falcao finding the back of the net at will. Scores like 3-5, 3-1 against opposition of the calibre of Manchester City. 3-2 and 3-1 against Borussia Dortmund tell a story of prolific goal-getting.
Juventus Team News
As for Juventus, their bundling out of Barcelona from the Championships is a warning in itself to the Monacoans going into the May 3 clash. While the likes of Dybala and Higuain tore open the Barca defence at Turin, the incredible work at the back line by the likes of Leonardo Bonucci Giorgio Chiellini and the great Andrea Barzagli in shutting out Messi & Co. was a masterclass in itself.
Monaco Team News
For Falco, Mbappe & co. goals may not be as easy to come by at Stade Louis. Their nonchalance when it comes to letting in goals may cost them dearly. Especially against a Juve attack quality that nearly matches their defence. There is little doubt that the Monaco goalie will come under siege from the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic, Dybala and Cuduardo. Away goals for the Italians look a certainty barring a miracle. How many Leonardo Jardim's side are able to get past the Juventus defence will be the moot question. Goals, Monaco will need in plenty as a cushion for the very challenging journey they will have to make on their return leg to Turin on May 9.
Surprisingly, the last two encounters between these two were tough fought-out affairs in 2014/15 of 0-0 and 1-0 in favour of the Italian club. Both teams have improved diabolically since then, especially the current French leaders. But bookmakers are reckoning Juventus a mite too strong for the Monacoans and wagering on them to prevail at the Stade Louis II on May 3. But it will be an affair that would not fail to fascinate and entertain football fans.