MX23RW : Tuesday, April 13 23:55:18| >> :60:425:425:
Mar 9, 2021 at 8pm UK at Juventus Stadium
JuventusJuventus
3-2
PortoPorto
Chiesa (49', 63'), Rabiot (117')
Chiesa (90+3'), Cuadrado (92'), Bernardeschi (103'), Rabiot (114')
FT
(aet)
Oliveira (19' pen., 115')
Otavio (45+2'), Taremi (52'), Oliveira (97'), Mbemba (120+2')
Taremi (54')

Preview: Juventus vs. Porto - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Juventus and Porto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The reigning champions of Italy and Portugal resume their battle for a Champions League quarter-final place on Tuesday evening, as Juventus host Porto trailing by a goal from the first leg.

Needing to overturn a deficit in the last-16 for the second year in a row, the Bianconeri will look to overcome injury troubles and inconsistent form to dispatch their talented Iberian counterparts in Turin.


Match preview

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Last month, in Porto, the home side unexpectedly took the lead inside just two minutes through Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi and found themselves two goals to the good soon after half-time, thanks to a strike from his partner Moussa Marega.

Seemingly stunned into inertia, Juventus found themselves short of inspiration on the night, but Federico Chiesa's potentially crucial away goal late on left the tie in the balance.

Nearly two decades since Cristiano Ronaldo left his beloved homeland, Portugal's caps and goals record-holder returned to no avail and cut a frustrated figure on the night.

The former Sporting academy graduate has experienced just a single win from seven meetings with Porto in his long and distinguished career - registering just one goal too - so will be doubly determined to help turn the tie around this week. Having benefited from a rare rest during the first hour of Juve's clinical 3-1 win over Lazio on Saturday, he should be in prime shape to do so.

Partly due to rookie coach Andrea Pirlo's experimental and adaptable approach, Juventus are still searching for consistency, but have nonetheless conceded only six goals in their last thirteen games in all competitions - even in spite of an ongoing injury crisis in defence. Not only that, but Juve have won their last seven home matches in Serie A, scoring at least twice on each occasion.

In fact, all season long, Pirlo's men have proved a tough proposition at the Allianz Stadium, with ten wins and two draws from 13 league contests at their state-of-the-art base proving the best home record on the peninsula.

Currently on the coat-tails of the Milan clubs in Serie A, still with a game in hand, they are certainly live contenders for a 10th successive Scudetto, if from the unusual standpoint of underdogs to Antonio Conte's rampant Inter.

With the Champions League trophy proving elusive for so long though, the often-criticised Pirlo would instead be lauded if his charges can take the next step towards continental glory on Tuesday night.

Porto players celebrate scoring against Marseille in the Champions League on November 3, 2020© Reuters

In deservedly winning the opening leg last month, Porto extended their European unbeaten streak to six, as they continue the club's 24th Champions League campaign - a total fewer than only Real Madrid and Barcelona (both 25).

Sergio Conceicao's side, however, currently sit adrift of old rivals Sporting in the league, as they attempt to retain the Primeira Liga title, after fending off Benfica to pick up a 29th domestic crown last season.

Though they have once again shown themselves to be a potent attacking outfit this term, with 47 goals so far in the Portuguese top flight - more than anyone else - the Dragons have drawn too many games for their ever-demanding fans' liking. Nonetheless, they remain unbeaten in 16 straight outings in the league, following a 2-0 win at struggling Gil Vicente at the weekend.

Porto were stunned by Braga in the second leg of their cup semi-final last Wednesday, losing 3-2 at home and 4-3 on aggregate, amid suggestions of mental burn-out from the media - swiftly rejected by their manager. A memorable run in the Champions League, though, would boost morale and compensate for a less than stellar domestic campaign.

Having finally toppled Juventus for the first time (at the sixth attempt) Porto are now in pole position to seal progress to the last eight, but will be eminently wary of the abilities of old friends - such as past Estadio do Dragao favourite Alex Sandro - and old foes, like one Cristiano Ronaldo: ever a man for the big occasion.

Juventus Champions League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Juventus form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Porto Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Porto form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W


Team News

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci pictured on November 4, 2020© Reuters

Andrea Pirlo's significant injury list may be starting to ease, with Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt closing in on a return to the squad, while Leonardo Bonucci and Arthur both came off the bench in the second half of Saturday's win over Lazio and Juan Cuadrado was fit enough to play 70 minutes.

However, Paulo Dybala remains injured, while Rodrigo Bentancur tested positive for COVID-19 late last week. In addition, versatile defender Danilo - who even featured in midfield last time out - is suspended.

The Juventus rearguard will necessarily be a mix-and-match affair then, with Pirlo most likely to pair Bonucci with Merih Demiral in central defence, allowing Alex Sandro to switch back to the left flank.

Enjoying his most fruitful goalscoring campaign in a Juve shirt, Alvaro Morata should be favoured to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo up front, with Dejan Kulusevski dropping to the bench.

The visitors have concerns over the availability of key men Pepe and Jesus Corona, who both returned from the weekend trip to Barcelos having suffered injuries. The former Real Madrid centre-back suffered a calf strain, while 'Tecatito' was hurt in an aerial collision.

Porto's Chancel Mbemba is expected to be unavailable again, while Ivan Marcano may also not be fit enough to feature in Turin, causing a potential selection problem in central defence if Pepe cannot play.

Having posed Juventus a number of problems in the first leg - and both found the net - Moussa Marega and Mehdi Taremi are set to be paired in Sergio Conceicao's front two.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Demiral, Sandro; Chiesa, Rabiot, McKennie, Ramsey; Morata, Ronaldo

Porto possible starting lineup:
Marchesin; Manafa, Pepe, Mbemba, Zaidu; Oliveira, Uribe, Otavio, Corona; Taremi, Marega


SM words green background

We say: Juventus 2-0 Porto

For all their failings this season, Juventus have been characteristically formidable on home turf and can utilise all their experience and guile to surpass the stage they departed at last year.

If there is any defensive unit that can keep Porto's powerful front duo buttoned down, it would be the Bianconeri's, as they are specialists at shut-outs - seemingly no matter which personnel plays.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter Milan30235269274274
2AC Milan30196557352263
3Juventus30188461273462
4Atalanta BCAtalanta30187571383361
5Napoli30192965343159
6Lazio2917484638855
7Roma30166854441054
8SassuoloSassuolo30111094948143
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona30118113835341
10Sampdoria30106143945-636
11Bologna3097143946-734
12Udinese3089133240-833
13Genoa30711123244-1232
14SpeziaSpezia3088144055-1532
15Fiorentina3079143849-1130
16BeneventoBenevento3079143055-2530
17Torino29512124252-1027
18CagliariCagliari3057183151-2022
19Parma30311162959-3020
20Crotone3043233777-4015

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