As Juventus prepared to play Barcelona, we had thoughts of this being two steps away from the end-goal that we were all hoping our beloved Bianconeri would have the chance to play for. It was the step before the step that would take Juventus into their second final in the last three seasons. Now Juventus has one step out of the way and the biggest one to date right in front of them.
The first of two legs is right in front of us.
Ninety minutes in Monte Carlo is what on the docket tonight. No, there won’t be any kind talk about another James Bond movie being filmed along the ocean in France. (Although that does sound like a nice way to spend a weekend or two this summer.) Instead, Juventus will be looking to repeat what they did against Barcelona two weeks ago in Turin — build a lead after the first leg and then try and defend the hell out of it in the second half of the tie.
It worked out well once, right?
(It also worked pretty well in 2015, too, so there’s also that to look at.)
The hope is that Max Allegri has Juventus coming out as aggressive as they were against Barcelona right from the get-go. The results, along with Paulo Dybala’s magical two goals off that wonderful left foot of his, spoke for themselves. Juventus got the lead early, they defended it like hell, and they got a little luck on their side, too.
If history comes even close to repeating itself, then Juventus could well have another date with a Madrid-based club like they’ve had in the last couple of years in European competition. But this time, it’d be for a trophy with rather large ears. I want that trophy.
Let us hope that tonight’s first leg is a lot like the last first leg Juventus played in. I sure as hell enjoyed that one. And even though Juve are on the road for this first leg, coming home with a couple of away goals would sure be quite swell knowing how well Juve have played in front of their hometown fans in Turin both domestically and in Europe as of late.
Location: Stade Louis II Stadium, Monaco, France
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-2-3-1/3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Marchisio, Pjanic; Dani Alves, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain
Juventus bench: Neto, Benatia, Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Rincon, Lemina, Cuadrado
Monaco starting XI (4-4-2): Subasic; Dirar, Glik, Jemerson, Sidibé; Bernardo Silva, Fabinho, Bakayoko, Lemar; Falcao, Mbappé
Monaco bench: De Sanctis, Jorge, Raggi, Touré, Joao Moutinho, Cardona, Germain
TV: Fox Sports 1 USA, ESPN Deportes USA (United States); beIN SPORTS Canada (Canada); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD, Canale 5 (Italy)
Online/Mobile: Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO, WatchESPN, fuboTV (United States); beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada, fuboTV Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live Streaming (United Kingdom); Premium Play (Italy)
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