On paper, it's simple. One-hundred-eighty minutes of football against a team many feel isn't superior to Juventus. The first leg is at home, where Juve can build a lead, then take it on the road to France where they can just sit back and defend their aggregate scoreline. That's what Italians do, right? Well...
Things are never as easy as they may seem. (Go look at how Juve did against Parma this past weekend as an example of that regardless of what the context of the game truly ended up being.)
It is true, though. This is Juventus' chance to show why so many people think that they are the better team between themselves and Monaco. It's not only that, but also get another step closer to the Champions League semifinals — a place we that hasn't been this much of a possibility in more than just a couple of years.
Can Juventus do it?
Or will this be like the last leg and things will be completely up in the air entering the second leg?
It's hard to say, really. Monaco are the team everybody is saying can be underrated, kind of like the light version of your favorite beer that doesn't taste as good. Are they here by luck? Are they here because they're worthy of a spot in the Champions League quarterfinals? Is it a little of both.
There's only one way to find out — go out there and play the game.
So, who's ready to rumble? If you're not, just go ahead and watch the hype video. Your state of mind will change in a couple of minutes. I can promise you that.
Starting lineups for both Juventus and Monaco will be posted RIGHT HERE when they become available. Maybe in a few hours we'll be able to talk about another great Juventus performance on the big stage. I'd be down with that and have a good feeling not many folks around here would object. So, make it happen, gents.
UPDATE: LINEUPS ARE IN!
Juventus XI (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio; Pereyra; Morata, Tévez
Juventus bench: Storari, Barzagli, Padoin, Sturaro, Pepe, Llorente, Matri
Monaco XI (4-2-3-1): Subasic; Raggi, Carvalho, Abdennour, Kurzawa; Fabinho, Kondogbia; Dirar, Moutinho, Ferreira Carrasco; Martial
Monaco bench: Stekelenburg, Wallace, Elderson, Bernardo Silva, Matheus Carvalho, Berbatov, Germain