Juventus v Monaco preview
Monday, April 13, 2015
"We are here on merit" was the message from AS Monaco FC, with home coach Massimiliano Allegri inclined to agree as he steels Juventus for their biggest test yet.
Article top media content
• Massimiliano Allegri says Monaco will be tougher than Juve's last-16 opponents Dortmund
• Only one of Andrea Pirlo and Andrea Barzagli expected to start
• Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim: "We are not underdogs, we deserve respect"
• Juve had not conceded in six games in all competitions prior to weekend loss
• Juve have not made semis since 2002/03; Monaco reached last four in 2003/04
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Pereyra, Marchisio, Vidal, Evra; Morata, Tévez.
• Out: Pogba (thigh)
• Doubtful: Pirlo (calf), Barzagli (muscle fatigue)
Monaco: Subašić; Fabinho, Carvalho, Abdennour, Kurzawa; Toulalan, Kondogbia; Dirar, Moutinho, Martial; Berbatov.
• Doubtful: Traoré (tibia), Toulalan (leg), Carvalho (leg)
Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach
Monaco deserve to be in the quarter-finals. They finished above Benfica and Zenit in their group, conceding only one goal in six games. They have the best defensive record in France. They are very organised, with a good, clever coach. We have to produce two performances to qualify. We will need a lot of patience – this tie will last 180 minutes; nothing will be decided tomorrow. In this kind of tie, the team who make the fewer mistakes qualify.
People say we are favourites but I think there are no favourites in the quarter-finals. If we don't play with the same intensity we had against Dortmund, it will be very difficult for us to qualify. I believe it will be more complicated than it was against Dortmund. They are two completely different teams but it's always tough when you face a side who don't concede many goals like Monaco.
With teams like these you risk trying to rush and force the issue. We need a lot of patience instead, knowing that we are up against a team who can defend extremely well and can be very dangerous if we leave space. Then you never know; maybe someone will score early and the match will change completely. Our only objective is to reach the semi-finals. We are in very good shape and the game is so important that our motivation and physical strength will certainly be there.
Paul Pogba has no chance to make it for the return leg. We don't have players who can replace him in midfield, with his qualities, but we can certainly do well without him.
Leonardo Jardim, Monaco coach
We have only reached the quarter-finals because we deserved to. We won our group and we eliminated a team like Arsenal in the last round. We are not underdogs, we deserve respect and to be considered alongside the rest of the teams in the quarter-finals.
Juve have quality and experience; they have players with great CVs, all older than 23. We can say that they are favourites, but we will play as we always do, respecting our opponents and trying to play our own game. This match is more difficult than the Arsenal one because Juve reached the quarter-finals so they are stronger than Arsenal.
[Anthony] Martial is young, he is only 19 and still has huge room for improvement – he can become a very interesting player. Nabil Dirar always works hard and plays with great intensity, he can make the difference for us. We will decide tomorrow about [Jérémy] Toulalan and [Ricardo] Carvalho, we are observing their condition now.
Is [Carlos] Tévez Juventus's most dangerous player? I see football as a team game. It's true that he is the top scorer in Serie A and that he has quality and experience. We will try to take the necessary measures against him, but Juve also have a great goalkeeper [Gianluigi Buffon], the best defensive record in Serie A and a great midfield.
Are Monaco playing like a typical Italian team? I can say that Monaco play in a very organised way with collective objectives, both when defending and when attacking. Everybody in the team knows his role perfectly and what he is asked to do. Yes, maybe I can say that we play like Italian teams when we don't have the ball and we want to win it back.
Parma FC 1-0 Juventus (José Mauri 60)
SM Caen 0-3 Monaco (Martial 29, Bernardo Silva 64 84)
Form guide (all competitions)
• Thierry Henry was among Monaco's scorers when the teams met in the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, but who prevailed? Find out in our extensive match background.