Juventus vs. Bayern Munich: Complete UEFA Champions League Preview
Juventus vs. Bayern Munich
UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg
Kickoff Wednesday, April 10, 8:45 p.m. (CET)
Juventus and Bayern Munich will fight it out for a place in the last four of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday as the German side take a 2-0 first-leg lead to Turin, hoping for a staunch defensive performance to send them through.
Bayern got a great start to the first leg a week ago when they scored inside of a minute, David Alaba striking a deceiving and deflected shot from range. The home team were the better side and, despite losing Toni Kroos to injury, scored a deserved second when Thomas Muller swept home from inside the box during the second half.
Juve will need to perform far above their level from the first leg if they are to stand a chance of reaching the semifinals.
Both Juve and Bayern hold significant leads at the top of their respective championships—in fact, Bayern's 1-0 win over Frankfurt at the weekend secured them another league title.
They have been entirely dominant at home and abroad recently, taking victory in an astounding 19 of their last 20 fixtures in all competitions—only a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Round of 16 blemishes that run.
As for Juventus, they are nine points clear at the top of Serie A; five more wins from their remaining seven games will guarantee them the league title, though they will likely end up having to win less than that total.
Juve have won their last four league matches and have suffered just two defeats in the last 12 in all competitions. In the Round of 16, Juve overcame Celtic 5-0 on aggregate.
Juventus are missing two big names through suspension, with midfielder Arturo Vidal and wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner both accruing too many yellow cards. Sebastian Giovinco, Simone Pepe, Nicklas Bendtner and Martin Caceres all remain sidelined through injury. Mauricio Isla made a comeback in the final stages of the weekend's match, however.
Bayern Munich, as mentioned, are without Toni Kroos, and he joins Holger Badstuber, who is out with a long-term injury. Manager Jupp Heynckes should have a full side to choose from outside of those two.
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla, Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Vucinic, Matri.
Who will progress to the semifinals?
Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, van Buyton, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger, Martinez; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Mandzukic.
With a 2-0 lead to protect and a phenomenal defensive record away from home this season to provide inspiration and confidence, Bayern are going to be able to allow Juve to press forward—and then try to hit them on the break. Juventus will have to play the perfect game of attacking intent and defensive solidity to avoid conceding an away goal, which will mean they need four goals of their own.
Juve 2 Bayern 1—Bayern to go through comfortably on aggregate, 2-3.
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