UEFA European Champions League / Juventus v Porto

UEFA European Champions League / Juventus v Porto

Venue – Juventus Stadium, Vallette, Torino, Italy

Time – 19:45 P:M GMT Date – Wednesday 15 March 2017

Juventus welcome back striker Mario Mandzukic (illness) and winger Juan Cuadrado (suspension) as they take a 2-0 lead into the second leg of the last-16 Champions League tie with Porto.

Centre-back Giorgio Chiellini and midfielder Claudio Marchisio are both doubtful for the Italian champions.

Porto are looking to become the first team to progress in a Champions League tie after a 2-0 first-leg home defeat. Left-back Alex Telles is suspended after being sent off in Portugal.

Juventus are heavy favorites to reach only their second quarter-final in four years after goals from Marko Pjaca and Dani Alves in Porto.

The Serie A leaders are on course to win a sixth successive Scudetto but have struggled to replicate that domination on the European stage.

The 1996 winners last reached the last eight in 2015 on their way to a 3-1 defeat by Barcelona in the final.

“I’m aware of the importance the Champions League has for the Bianconeri family and for the history of the club,” Brazil right-back Alves said.

“I too, like all Juventus fans, want to dream and I’m convinced that if we continue down our path calmly, with personality, and without fear of making a mistake then we can get right to the end.

” It’s home comforts for Juventus but can Porto create Champions League history?

Only two sides have even managed to overcome a single-goal deficit away from home in the past 25 years – Ajax against Panathinaikos in the 1995-96 semi-finals and Inter Milan against Bayern Munich in the last 16 in 2010-11.

Former Real Madrid keeper Casillas has played in 167 Champions League games – more than any other player.

Casillas looks to Barca for inspiration – Porto face a Juve side that has not lost at home since August 2015, a run spanning 46 matches.

The Portuguese leaders, who have won their past nine league matches, have won only one of their previous nine Champions League second-leg matches away from home.

“We know it’s going to be difficult for us after the result in the first leg.

But a lot of things happen in football – we’ve seen it all,” said Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who appeared to be referring to Barcelona’s comeback against Paris St-Germain last week.

Juventus are unbeaten against Porto, winning three and drawing one.

Juve have avoided defeat in 10 of their past 11 Champions League knockout games at home, winning six and drawing four.

Porto have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for the seventh time in their past 10 attempts.

However, Porto have only progressed past the round of 16 once in their last six Champions League attempts.

No team has conceded fewer goals than Juventus this season in the Champions League, letting in only two in seven matches.

Juventus right-back Dani Alves has scored two goals in his past five Champions League games, as many as in his previous 34 in the competition.

Juve striker Gonzalo Higuain has scored only two goals in 21 Champions League knockout games. In the group stages, he’s netted 13 goals in 38 games.

Porto striker Andre Silva has been directly involved in two thirds of Porto’s goals in this season’s Champions League, scoring four and assisting two.

Prediction – 2-0




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