After the 2-2 draw in their previous encounter at the Juventus stadium, Mauricio Pochettino and his men will be fancying their chances of making it to their second ever quarter final in the UEFA champions league.
Gonzalo Higuain scored a brace in the early parts of the first half to put Juventus in the driving seat only to be cancelled out by efforts from Harry Edward Kane and Christian Eriksen to give the English side two away goals and a huge advantage coming into today’s fixture.
Will Spurs sail through in front of their own fans or will Allegri’s men break the hearts of the North London club? In this preview we will take a look at the records of the respective teams, injury news, suspensions, potential lineups, danger men from each team and the possible outcome of the tie.
Mauricio Pochettino has guided his side in making the Wembley stadium a fortress this season with three straight victories at home in the Champions League, scoring 9 goals and conceding just two.
This feat helped them amass a total of 16 points in the group stages to top their group, the most earned by any team in the CL group stage this season after going to battle with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia.
Their home form in the Premier League this season has also been excellent, losing just once in 15 encounters (10W D4) with 31 goals scored and only 9 conceded. Tottenham have also been playing well in their past 25 games in all competitions, claiming 15 victories, 8 stalemates and only 2 defeats.
The last loss came as far back as December and that is something the away side should be wary of. Other statistics that will not please the away fans are that Spurs have come out on top in two legged ties against Italian sides in UEFA competitions on 4 out of 5 occasions and have also won all six of the UEFA competition ties in which they drew in the first leg away from home.
In the case of the 2015 and 2017 champions league finalists, their record away from home in the Italian Serie A has been only a little short of perfection. In their 14 matches played, they have only tasted one defeat (W12 D1) scoring 33 goals in the process and shipping in 11.
In the CL this season however, Juventus have not been at their best away from home. They only earned 4 points from 3 away games in the group stages (W1 D1 L1) scoring 3 and conceding 4.
Their record away to English clubs is basically nothing to write home about with just 3 victories in 21 encounters (D6 L12) and they have won only 5 of 13 two legged ties against English opposition in UEFA competitions overall but it is not all doom and gloom for the Italian side as they have not lost any of their last seven matches against Premier League clubs (W3 D4).
One thing that will particularly be pleasing to the Bianconeri ahead of this tie is their record in their past 25 games in all competitions which currently stand at 20 victories, 4 draws and only one defeat. That 3-2 defeat came at the hands of Sampdoria in the league last November.
Allegri will hope his team does enough to turn the tie around and book a place in the Quarter final along with Real Madrid and Liverpool.
INJURIES, SUSPENSIONS AND POTENTIAL LINEUPS
Toby Alderweireld is expected to be out of contention due to a hamstring injury with the return date set to 11th March. Serge Aurier will not participate in this fixture as he is on one match suspension. On the side of Juventus, Mario Mandzukic, Federico Bernadesci, Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio will be out of the tie due to injuries. Gonzalo Higuain is likely to make it in time to start the fixture.
Juventus lineup: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Benatia, Alex Sandro, Matuidi, Pjanic, Khedira, Costa, Dybala, Higuain
Tottenham Lineup: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Alli, Son, Eriksen, Kane
Mauricio Pochettino will hope that his trusted goal scorer Harry Kane comes to the party this evening in their quest for progression.
The English striker has scored 7 goals in his last 6 Champions League games and has scored a total of 35 in 37 games in all competitions this campaign. Kane will be looking for goal number 8 and possibly his first Champions League quarter final appearance.
Pochettino’s opposite number will look to the abilities of Paulo Dybala to make the difference in this tie. The Argentinian had to watch the reverse fixture in the stands due to an injury but is now fully fit to play this evening.
He has scored 18 in 31 matches and delivered a further 5 assists. He has however not been directly involved in any champions league goal for the Bianconeri and will hope to get his first in the upcoming tie.
This match will certainly bring thrills to both sets of fans and the neutrals. It looks very hard to call but considering the advantage Tottenham has from their first leg and their home record, they are my favorites to get through to the next round.
Juventus have the experience in the competition and have the necessary tools to turn the tie in their favor but the task may prove a little too hard for them. I will go for a 2-1 victory in favor of Tottenham.