After an impressive 5-1 aggregate win against Borussia Dortmund in the last sixteen, we evaluate why Juventus can win the Champions League.
Coached by Max Allegri, the two-time winners of the competition are now in the last eight after last night’s impressive victory. In Italy, they find themselves fourteen points ahead of second-placed Roma in the Serie A table, and the Bianconeri are also in the semi finals of the Coppa Italia. The treble is still on for the Old Lady, and the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich have shown in recent seasons that trebles comprising the Champions League are entirely possible.
Here, we list five reasons why Ol’ Big Ears may return to Turin for the third time.
1) Home Record
A staggering statistic of only one home defeat since April 2013 is a testament to Juventus’ dominance and staying power over the last few years, characterised by the fact that they are poised to win Serie A for the fourth season in a row (although some may attribute that to the quality of Italian football more than anything else).
This home record means that Allegri and his team will hold no fear of playing against Europe’s elite in Turin.
A frontline of Alvaro Morata, Fernando Llorente, Alessandro Matri and Carlos Tevez have helped the club score score 54 goals in 27 league games – or exactly two goals per game. Tevez has spearheaded this attack with six Champions League strikes and a further fifteen domestically – leaving him as joint top goalscorer in Serie A.
There’s no doubt that Tevez and co. will trouble any defence left in the competition.
Players such as Patrice Evra, the imperious Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and Tevez, have won Champions Leagues and World Cups before (although questions have been raised about Buffon’s contribution recently). This defensive influence in particular has seen Juventus concede only fourteen league goals so far this season, along with just five goals in the Champions League.
From the players mentioned above we have a total of four Champions League medals, two World Cups and a UEFA Cup. In addition, Evra and Buffon have tasted defeat in the Champions League final on three separate occasions. This wealth of experience will undoubtedly stand to Juventus.
4) Open Draw
The nature of the unseeded draw for the quarter finals means that Juventus could conceivably face the likes of Monaco in the quarters and end up facing PSG or Porto in the semi final. All are very much beatable, and such a situation would leave Juve needing only to win one match against the big hitters of the competition to taste success.
Alternatively, they could face two out of Bayern, Real Madrid and Barcelona before even reaching the final in Berlin.
5) Paul Pogba
Capable of the sublime, and often referred to as Alex Ferguson’s biggest mistake in letting him go on a free transfer, Paul Pogba has starred for both club and country over the past twelve months. Voted the best young player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he has been instrumental in Juventus’ success, and has piqued the interest of Europe’s biggest clubs.
If Pogba is on form, many of Europe’s powerhouses will struggle to topple the Juventus midfield – aided by the likes of Arturo Vidal and the mesmeric Andrea Pirlo.
Juventus are currently available at 14/1 with most bookmakers to go all the way, and with a possible generous draw on Friday at 11am BST in Nyon, Switzerland, these odds could well shorten dramatically.