The UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 continues this week, with a match between Juventus and Porto highlighting the Leg 2 action in the top European football competition at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday, March 9 (3/9/2021).
Juventus are nursing a 2-1 deficit going into the second leg of their UEFA Champions League tie with Porto but Andrea Pirlo sees no need to panic. Juventus’ domestic dominance over the past decade has not translated onto the European stage, with final defeats in 2015 and 2017 to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively proving tough to take.
Juventus comes into Tuesday’s game needing a positive result if they plan to move to the quarterfinals. They are behind down 2-1 on aggregate score after Leg 1. They will look to all-time Champions League goal scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, to find his stride and help deliver in a big game situation like he has in the past. Ronaldo famously carried Juventus from a 2-0 deficit two years ago in the round of 16 with a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid. Since the team’s loss to Porto in the first leg, they have won four straight across competitions.
Porto knows that if they can hold Juventus scoreless they will move on in the tournament, but they will be looking to the team’s top goal soccer midfielder Sérgio Oliveira to carry the team to victory. Porto has won three of four games since Leg 1 of the Round of 16.
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Pirlo wants his side to be “clever” and “patient” as they seek to overcome a slender deficit and claim a place in the quarter-finals. Club legend made his final Juve appearance as a player in the UCL 2015 final, as goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Neymar saw Barca run out 3-1 winners in Berlin.
Juventus have been dealing with illness and injuries. Pirlo hopes Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt will recover in time to play Porto. Forward Paulo Dybala is still sidelined, while Rodrigo Bentancur is also out after contracting the coronavirus. Porto also has some injury problems, including defender Pepe with a right leg ailment.
But the good news for Juve is that Alvaro Morata is finding his best form at the right time. Morata had not scored in the league since December and was sidelined recently with illness but the forward has scored three times in his last two matches — including in their 3-1 win over Lazio.
Morata has scored six goals in this season’s Champions League, two more than teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. The 36-year-old Ronaldo was given some much-needed rest at the weekend and went on only for the final 20 minutes, which should leave him fresh for the match against Porto.
Porto, despite enjoying a lead, will be wary of Italian giants. The Portuguese side are winless in their previous 13 away Champions League knock-out matches.
Check match and telecast details here:
Match: Juventus vs Porto, UEFA Champions League 2020-21, Round of 16, second leg match.
Date: March 10 (Wednesday), 2021
Time: 01:30 AM IST
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
TV Channels: Sony Ten 1/HD (In Indian sub-continent)
Live Stream: SonyLiv (Indian sub-continent)
Juventus: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Demiral, Sandro; Chiesa, Rabiot, McKennie, Ramsey; Morata, Ronaldo.
Porto: Marchesin; Manafa, Pepe, Mbemba, Zaidu; Oliveira, Uribe, Otavio, Corona; Taremi, Marega.