Monaco see themselves as underdogs against Juve

AS Monaco FC coach Leonardo Jardim sees Juventus as favourites for their quarter-final, but the Bianconeri's Pavel Nedvěd is less sure, saying: "I'm always cautious."

Monaco's Victor Ikpeba (left) and Juventus midfielder Edgar Davids during their 1997/98 semi-final
Monaco's Victor Ikpeba (left) and Juventus midfielder Edgar Davids during their 1997/98 semi-final ©Getty Images

AS Monaco FC are keen to paint Juventus as the favourites for their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie, but the Bianconeri are taking nothing for granted, with the Ligue 1 side's exploits against Arsenal FC foremost in director Pavel Nedvěd's mind.

Draw analysis
• Juventus were 6-4 aggregate winners against Monaco in the 1997/98 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Alessandro Del Piero scoring a hat-trick in the Bianconeri's 4-1 first-leg victory in Turin.

• Del Piero was also on target in the second leg as Monaco prevailed 3-2 – the Ligue 1 club have won their last three home games against Serie A opposition.

• Indeed, Monaco have never lost at home to an Italian team in Monte Carlo; their sole defeat came in Marseille, a 3-1 reverse to FC Internazionale Milano in the 1963/64 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round.

• Juve have won 13 of their 22 UEFA competition matches against French clubs, losing five. All those defeats have come in France, where their record is W4 D2 L5.

Reaction
Leonardo Jardim, Monaco coach
Juventus are among the biggest sides around. They are favourites for our tie. We're lucky to play the second leg at home. We'll try to make the most of this quarter-final. They have top-quality players who have plenty of unity and togetherness.

Arturo Vidal, Juventus midfielder
We were in the dressing room preparing for training when they told us we'd drawn Monaco. It will be a fantastic tie, very important. Every team is difficult to face; we're talking about the best eight in Europe. I think it will be 50-50, and we'll just remain focused and try to qualify. I think our victory in Dortmund was a real boost for us. We played a great game and we're all happy after that performance.

Pavel Nedvěd, Juventus director
I'm happy because we will be facing an opponent that we respect, but I see chances for us to qualify for the next round. We have a chance, but all matches start at 0-0 and the chance to qualify is 50%. Fortunately we don't have to travel too far, we're playing close to home [in the away match], so we'll see if we can make it to the semi-finals.

I'm always cautious. Monaco managed to knock out Arsenal, who are a big team, and they played two impressive legs. If you don't approach Champions League matches with the right concentration, you risk being eliminated.

Vadim Vasilyev, Monaco vice-president
My first reaction is happiness – happy that Monaco are here among the best eight teams in Europe. People often forget where we have come from. Two years ago we were playing in Ligue 2, whereas Juve will win the [Serie A] title for the fourth consecutive season. There's not much to say – they are the favourites, but we are not afraid, we have nothing to lose and we will play these two legs with a lot of pleasure.

I am not optimistic, I am not pessimistic. We will approach the tie in a serious way. As I have said, we have nothing to lose; we have already gone further than expected this season. In football anything is possible, so we will try our best.

("A difficult quarter-final, Monaco are a very good side who showed their quality against Arsenal")