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AS Monaco – Juventus (Champions League)

AS Monaco is being one of the most pleasant surprises of the competition and is now prepared to host the powerful Juventus at Stade Louis II, on wednesday night, for the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals. After taking Borussia Dortmund out of their way, Monaco is motivated with their last results in all competitions and now needs to get a positive result here to make them comfortable for the second leg, in Italy. Juventus, on their turn, managed to keep Barcelona at bay over the two legs in the quarter-finals and now faces another team with high offensive capacity.

AS Monaco entered in the competition with their right foot and began their spectacular campaign with the leadership of Group E, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham, and took Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund out of their way in the last sixteen and in the quarter-finals. The monegasques have been showing defensive difficulties since the beginning of their campaign in the Champions League, which is the result of conceding goals in all of their matches. However, they are also one of the highest goalscoring teams in the competition, netting 3 goals in each of their last 4 games. In Ligue 1, Leonardo Jardim’s men won their last match, beating Toulouse 3-1, and with PSG’s defeat against Nice, they are now comfortable at the top of the table with 3 points in advantage over the Paris’s side, and with one game behind schedule.

Until now, in all their 5 games played at home soil, AS Monaco has shown a fantastic form, winning all the previous 4 and drawing in the first clash, against Bayer Leverkusen in Group E, scoring 12 goals and conceding 4 in the process. The monegasques have some defensive dificulties, especially in defending set pieces, but are a formidable team when attacking, being very good in creating and finishing scoring chances, dangerous when attacking down the wings and in shooting from direct free kicks, and experts in creating chances through individual skill, with very talented players like Bernardo Silva, Falcao, Thomas Lemar or Mbappé, all of them capable of making the difference at any moment. One of Europe’s best attack faces one of Europe’s best defense, but the french side will also have to be very focused at the back, with a clean sheet being a very important factor here.

In their last 5 official matches, AS Monaco won 4 and draw the lost the other one. This sequence of resultes started with a 2-1 home win against Dijon. This result was followed by a 3-1 home victory over Borussia Dortmund, for the Champions League, a 1-2 win at Lyon’s home, a 5-0 defeat against PSG, for the French Cup, and in their last clash, a 3-1 home win against Toulouse. Boschilia, Guido Carrillo and Sidibé are all out due to injury, with Bakayoko and Almamy Traoré being both doubtful.

Probable Lineup: Subasic – Mendy, Glik, Jemerson and Dirar – Bakayoko, Moutinho, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva – Mbappé and Falcao.

champions leagueJuventus, on their turn, also qualified as Group leader, leaving Sevilla and Lyon behind in Group H, and defeating FC Porto and the mighty Barcelona to reach this stage of the competition, where they are trying to repeat the deed of the season 2014/15, where they reached the final, where they were eliminated by Barcelona. Juve impressed a lot in the quarter-finals, not only for beating Barcelona, but also for not letting a team with the likes o Neymar, Messi and Suárez score a single goal over the two legs. In Serie A, Massimiliano Allegri’s men are isolated at the top of the table, with the tittle practically guaranteed with 9 points advantage over 2nd placed AS Roma.

Even when playing away from home, La Vecchia Signora holds a record that puts respect, winning 4 of their 5 trips in this Champions League, drawing the other one against Barcelona, and scored 10 goals while only conceded 1 in the process, keeping 4 clean sheets. Juventus has one of the best defensive organization in all Europe, if not the best, and they don’t show any defensive weakness, being experts in defending set pieces and protecting the lead. Offensively, they are not a high goalscoring team, since their main focus is the defensive organization. However, even when they are attacking they do it in a very organized way, attacking through the middle or down the wings, especially through the right side. La Vecchia Signora are lethal in shooting direct free kicks, with Dybala and Pjanic being experts in the matter, and besides their ability of creating long shot opportunities, they also have players like Cuadrado, Dybala, Higuaín and Mandzukic, all of them capable of making the difference through individual skills at any moment.

In their last 5 official games, Juventus won 3 and draw the other 2. This sequence of results started with a 3-0 home win against Barcelona, for the Champions League. This result was followed by a 0-2 win in Pescara’s home, a 0-0 draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou, for the Champions League, a 4-0 home win over Genoa, and in their last clash, a 2-2 away draw against Atalanta. Khedira, suspended, and Pjaca, injured, are both out.

Probable Lineup: Buffon – Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini and Alex Sandro – Pjanic and Marchisio – Cuadrado, Dybala and Mandzukic – Higuaín.

AS Monaco drew 1 of the only 2 direct confronts since the beginning of the millennium, losing the remaining.

LC 2014/2015
LC 2014/2015

Juventus has already shown their immense defensive organization and they will show it here, once again, with AS Monaco trying to take advantage of home factor and trying to score. Although both teams might be able to get on the scoresheet, this shouldn’t be a match with many goals, as we have already seen in AS Monaco’s matches.

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Both Teams To Score 1.70 Bet365
AS Monaco
  • Country: France
  • Stadium: Louis II
  • City: Mónaco
  • Establishment: 1924

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  • Country: Italy
  • Stadium: Juventus Stadium
  • City: Turim
  • Establishment: 1897

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Fábio Mota
  • Predictions made 174
  • Average Odds used 1.76
  • Predictions right 99
  • Predictions wrong 65
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