Juventus aim to end Monaco dream

ROME - Following a 1-0 loss to Parma at the weekend, which comprised the biggest shock in Serie A this season, Juventus was looking to put the record straight against Monaco on Tuesday night. Bianconeri stars Buffon, Pirlo and Tevez were all rested for Saturday’s match, in preparation for the first leg against Monaco.

 Talk of an unlikely Juventus treble has been widespread throughout Italy in recent weeks and supporters of the team will be hoping that the blip against last placed Parma, will galvanise the players for the arrival of Monaco. Whoever goes on to win the tie will no doubt be faced with tough opposition in the semi-final with big hitters Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich still in the draw however both these teams have experience of knocking out difficult opponents.

 Juventus brushed aside Dortmund in the last-16 of this season’s Champions League in a tie, which included an impressive 3-0 win in Germany. The Monegasques also produced some exciting football against Arsenal and despite the fact that they only progressed on goal difference; a stellar performance during the 3-1 win in London was enough to see them through.

 Heading into tonight’s game, it will undoubtedly be Juventus who are feeling the more confident of the two sides. The much-awaited return of Andrea Pirlo will be a boost for the Bianconeri, who will be without Paul Pogba for the first leg, and on-fire striker Carlos Tevez will be hoping to add to his impressive European goals coring record this season.

 However as many have previously experienced, underestimate AS Monaco at your peril. Les Rouges et Blancs are renowned for their defensive stubbornness, with captain Jérémy Toulalan sitting in front of a solid back four which includes Juventus fan Andrea Raggi.

 "When I grew up half my family was for Inter Milan and the other half for Juventus,” Raggi told the media on Monday. “My family are now definitely all 'Juventini', but tomorrow I think they'll be supporting Monaco!"

 The Monaco team has also showed promise going forward in recent times with the first leg against Arsenal a noticeable example. Antoine Martial has rediscovered his scoring touch and creative midfielders Joao Moutinho and Bernardo Silva have the potential to create chances. However, manager Leonardo Jardim is under no illusions about the task awaiting his players.

 Juventus are a strong group and also have Serie A's best defence,” Jardim said during the pre-match press conference. “We're here in the quarter-finals on merit, having topped our group but Juventus are favourites due to their quality and experience.”