MX23RW : Wednesday, March 20 06:01:11
Mar 12, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Juventus Stadium
Attendance: 40,884
Juventus
3-0
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Ronaldo (27', 48', 86' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides the team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Juventus's home Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.

Juventus will look to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit when they welcome Atletico Madrid to Turin for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.

Late goals from Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin in the reverse match last month handed Atletico a two-goal advantage, leaving Juve with it all to do on Tuesday.


Juventus

Juventus' Miralem Pjanic celebrates scoring their first goal with Mario Mandzukic and teammates against Napoli on March 3, 2019 © Reuters

This is a huge, huge football match for Juve; easily their biggest of the season. Another Serie A title is almost certain to arrive this term, but it would be fair to say that the Champions League is the competition that they really want to win.

Unless something extraordinary happens, Juve will land their eighth straight Serie A crown this term. Indeed, they beat Udinese 4-1 on Friday night to record their 24th league win of the campaign. As it stands, the Old Lady are 18 points clear of second-placed Napoli, but there will be no Coppa Italia trophy this season following their shock 3-0 loss to Atalanta BC at the end of January.

It seems strange to say, but just the Serie A title would not be seen as a good campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo was signed last summer with the view to delivering the European Cup, but Juve have it all do following the first leg. The tie in Madrid was even for long spells, but late goals from Gimenez and Godin have placed Diego Simeone's side in a strong position ahead of Tuesday night's return clash.

It will be the first time that Juve have welcomed Atletico to Turin since the group stages of the 2014-15 Champions League. The pair played out a goalless draw on that occasion, which Atletico would certainly welcome in this match.

Juve have reached the final twice in the past five seasons – losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid – but have not won the European Cup since 1996. Juve actually lost twice in the group stages of this season's competition, but a total of 12 points was enough for them to finish top of Group H ahead of Manchester United, who beat them in Turin.

The Italian giants have won just 14 of the previous 32 UEFA ties where they lost the away first leg, while they have lost seven of their previous 16 two-legged ties against Spanish clubs in Europe. It would be a big ask to turn it around against any side at this level, let alone an Atletico team so strong at the back.

The future of Massimiliano Allegri as head coach is far from secure, with the Italian's mentor, Giovanni Galeone, recently claiming that the Juve boss could walk away from his role at the end of the season.

The Old Lady will certainly feel that they are capable of turning things around on home soil, particularly when considering that they have lost just three of their 36 European matches at the Juventus Stadium, recording 21 wins in the process.

Recent form: WWLWLL
Recent form (all competitions): WWLWWW


Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone shouts at his players during the La Liga derby with Real Madrid on February 9, 2019© Reuters

Like Juve, Atletico have also reached the Champions League final in two of the last five seasons, losing to Real Madrid on both occasions. This is the fifth time in six seasons that the capital side are in the round of 16 and they will be desperate to finish the job on Tuesday night to reach the quarter-finals.

Last term, Atletico actually failed to progress from their Champions League group but went on to win the Europa League, beating Lokomotiv Moscow, Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal and Marseille to land the title.

Atletico have won four of their five last-16 ties at this stage of the competition, while they have been victorious in four of their eight two-legged knockout encounters with Italian clubs. Juve were seen as the favourites ahead of the first leg, but a 2-0 advantage is huge heading into the second leg in Turin.

Simeone's side were thumped 4-0 by Borussia Dortmund in the group stages of this season's Champions League, but that proved to be their only defeat, with a total of 13 points seeing them finish second in Group A.

Impressively, the capital outfit have also won eight of their last 10 games against Serie A opposition home and away. Meanwhile, they have been victorious in 30 of the 37 UEFA ties where they won in the home first leg, most recently against Sporting in the Europa League round of 16 last season.

Since suffering a 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid in La Liga on February 9, Atletico have won each of their five games in all competitions - beating Juve in the first leg, in addition to overcoming Rayo Vallecano, Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Leganes in Spain's top flight.

Indeed, Saturday's 1-0 victory over Leganes meant that Simeone's side strengthened their grip on second position in the table, while they have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five matches. Worryingly for Juve, Atletico are the team who just do not concede many goals.

Real Madrid's last-16 exit does seem to have opened up the competition this season, and Atletico will feel that overcoming Juve – if that indeed happens – will make them one of the favourites to land the trophy.

Recent form: WLWWDW
Recent form (all competitions): LWWWWW


Team News

Diego Godin celebrates scoring for Atletico Madrid on February 20, 2019© Reuters

Juve will still be without the services of Sami Khedira, who is recovering from a heart procedure. Meanwhile, Juan Cuadrado (knee) and Douglas Costa (hamstring) are still unavailable for the Old Lady.

Alex Sandro is suspended, meanwhile, but Allegri will recall his big hitters having shuffled his pack for Friday's league game with Udinese.

Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci will all return to the starting XI, while Paulo Dybala is also expected to get the nod in the final third of the field.

Emre Can could be the player to miss out in midfield, but Sandro's suspension should see Joao Cancelo start at right-back, with Mattia De Sciglio shaking off a slight groin problem to feature on the left.

As for Atletico, key centre-back Godin faces a late fitness test as the Uruguay international looks to overcome an ankle problem.

Godin is being tipped to recover, but Stefan Savic will be selected alongside Gimenez in central defence if the inspirational captain is not available.

Elsewhere, Thomas Partey and Diego Costa are both suspended for the visitors following their bookings in the first leg last month.

Alvaro Morata should come in to replace Costa in the final third, with Thomas Lemar due to start in place of Thomas, which would see Saul Niguez switch to a central position.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo

Atletico possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, Gimenez, Luis; Koke, Rodri, Saul, Lemar; Griezmann, Morata


Head To Head

The first leg proved to be just the third meeting between these two teams in European competition. Atletico have now won twice, remaining unbeaten in the process.

As mentioned, the only European meeting between the pair in Italy took place in December 2014 and the group-stage match finished goalless.


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We say: Juventus 2-1 Atletico Madrid

It is difficult to predict what will occur in Turin. This prediction is based on Godin passing a late fitness test; if that happens, we fancy Atletico to squeeze into the quarter-finals. However, Godin's absence would place Juve as the favourites to turn things around in front of their own supporters.


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Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Sassuolo on February 10, 2019
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