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Juventus v Ajax preview: all you need to know

Juventus have the benefit of an away goal, but know better than to take Real Madrid's vanquishers lightly.

Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to continue his remarkable record in quarter-finals
Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to continue his remarkable record in quarter-finals ©AFP/Getty Images

Reporter's view (Paolo Menicucci, UEFA.com): Ajax's Amsterdam performance was good enough to keep Juve on their toes; they will not underestimate their opponents, mindful of how the Dutch side overturned a 2-1 home defeat to eliminate reigning champions Real Madrid in the last round. However, with their fans behind them in Turin, and Cristiano Ronaldo having scored 24 goals in 21 quarter-final games, the Bianconeri certainly have the edge.

First leg: Ajax 1-1 Juventus

Possible line-ups

Juventus: Szczęsny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Pjanić, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Kean, Ronaldo
Out: Mandžukić (knee), Chiellini (calf), Cáceres (thigh), Perin (shoulder)
Doubtful: Douglas Costa (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Bernardeschi, Matuidi

Ajax: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Blind, Mazraoui; Schöne, Van de Beek, De Jong; Ziyech, Tadić, Neres
Out: Bandé (calf), Tagliafico (suspended)
Doubtful: De Jong (hamstring)
Misses next match if booked: Blind, De Jong, De Ligt, Schöne, Van de Beek, Ziyech

Key battle

Ronaldo v De Ligt: Matthijs de Ligt gave another solid showing in the first leg but could not prevent Ronaldo scoring with his first real opening. "Ronaldo is a predator in the box," the 19-year-old centre-back said. "He sees an opportunity, just a tiny gap, and he is on it incredibly quickly." De Ligt is a fast learner; if he can keep CR7 quiet for 90 minutes, Ajax will have a much bigger chance of reaching the last four.

Where to watch

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

Juve v Ajax classics

Form guide

Last game: SPAL 2-1 Juventus (Saturday)

  • Having been unbeaten in 26 Serie A away games over 16 months, Juventus have now lost two of their last three.

Last game: Ajax 6-2 Excelsior (Saturday)

  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar became Ajax's oldest Eredivisie hat-trick scorer aged 35 years and 244 days.

Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach

The first leg doesn't count for anything. This is now a one-off game and we need to play with the same attitude as we did against Atlético. We need to have a lot of respect for Ajax in defence and to be precise in our play.

I still have to decide who starts in attack: it could be Dybala or Kean, or neither of them. If one of Kean and Dybala plays, then one of De Sciglio and Cancelo will be left out. It depends what I decide to go with.

De Jong has been struggling with a twinge
De Jong has been struggling with a twinge©Getty Images

Erik ten Hag, Ajax coach

Juventus are favourites, especially after the Amsterdam result. If we play well, we can overcome any obstacle, though. I'm confident because of the way we are playing and training.

Allegri is very knowledgeable and has no doubt thought of a different way to approach this game compared with last week. We need to improve our tactical plan. We won't put a man on Cristiano Ronaldo, though.

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