The Old Lady are two goals down as they host Atletico Madrid in the second leg of UCL round of 16
Kick-off: 8pm GMT (1:30am IST 13th March, 2019)
Juventus 0-2 Atletico Madrid (aggregate)
Venue: Allianz Stadium (Juventus Stadium), Turin
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers
Thanks to two late goals from Uruguayan defensive duo Giminez and Godin in the first leg of the round of 16 match at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico will take a two-goal advantage to Turin. This puts the Los Rojiblancos in a very comfortable position and they are now the favourites to progress.
When it comes to the Champions League, Red and White stripes have never lost to Juventus; they have won two out of three encounters. Atletico have kept seven clean-sheets in last 9 matches (all competitions). They have the added motivation of the chance to play the final at home. To add some more good news for the visiting team, Diego Simeone was facing a touchline ban because of his crotch-grabbing celebration in the first leg, but he was only penalized a €20,000 fine. So, we will be available for the team.
As for Juventus, they are in a tough spot. Juventus are known for their formidable home record, but actually, they have won only two times in their last six Champions League home fixtures. They spent heavily on Mr. UCL Cristiano Ronaldo with the ambition to win the Champions League. While domestically Ronaldo has done superbly, he is yet to deliver in the Champions League. With the first leg loss, their Champions League dream still remains afar. So far, the all-time top scorer in Champions League, Ronaldo has just a goal and 2 assists in UCL 2018-19. But he remains motivated,
“Everyone knows that they are a strong team, they defend very well, they don't take a lot of risks and they play on the counter-attack. But we are ready, and we will do everything we can to beat them.” Diego Simeone, like any wise man, isn’t taking it easy,
"They (Juventus) are a very strong team with top players in every position. We have to stay calm, be humble and know that we're playing a very strong side."
While Juventus Manager, Massimiliano Allegri is trying to subdue the pressure,
“I define it as a round of 16 game and it can't be the game year, as we would be ruined if it is. We have to be calm, do better, try to overturn the deficit and if we qualify we will think about what we have to do for the quarter-finals. Atletico Madrid are a team that have won three Europa League trophies and have played two Champions League finals that they almost won and although they lost, they are a strong team. We have to show our quality, more aggressiveness and be faster.” He has also maintained his faith in Cristiano Ronaldo,
“ Because it is an important match and he is exalted in competitions like this. He's scored only one goal, but with red Valencia he has played just five games. He has scored so many goals in the Champions League and having him with us is a great advantage.”
This has been sort of come-back special Champions League; Ajax came back from a goal down and defeated the defending champions Real Madrid. United came back from two goals down and defeated one of the favourites PSG and Porto too overcame a goal deficit against Roma. So, you can’t really count out a team like Juventus.
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD:
Total Matches: 8
Atletico Madrid wins: 3
Juventus wins: 4
UCL: Total Matches: 3
Atletico Madrid wins: 2
Juventus wins: 0
Khedira and Cuadrado are out injured. Left-back Sandro is suspended and De Sciglio and Douglas Costa are doubtful, but they can feature.
The visitors have their left back crisis too, Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis are injured. Partey and Diego Costa are suspended. Captain Godin has been declared fit
Atletico Madrid: WWWWW
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo.
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Gimenez, Godin, Juanfran; Koke, Saul, Rodri Hernandez, Lemar; Griezmann, Alvaro Morata.
Juventus might have the edge at home, but Atletico are too strong defensively. Atletico look likely to go through to the Quarter finals.