Juventus meet FC Porto in the Champions League last-16 second leg on Tuesday night, with Andrea Pirlo’s team needing to mount a comeback to progress.
The Portuguese side took a 2-1 lead in the first leg, having impressed enormously against their Serie A opponents. Federico Chiesa’s late striker, however, leaves the tie in the balance.
Juve have won three of their four games since the first leg, with Porto winning two of their own four.
Juventus has been in this kind of situation before. And they’ve been in this situation for what feels like the last decade in the Champions League even though that’s not actually the case. It’s just what it feels like even though it’s not the actual reality. But, no matter the feelings, we can say that this situation has happened the last two seasons, and that’s not a trend that we want to see happen come 2022, 2023, 2024 and onward.
Let’s be clear: If Juventus play anywhere close to the way they did in the first leg, then this Champions League run is going to end in the same kind of fashion as last season’s did.
But Andrea Pirlo has this going for him: Juventus is coming off a big domestic win all of three days ago, one where his team responded quite well to falling behind 1-0. His biggest start got most of the game to rest, his No. 9 has scored in his last two appearances and was the leading man in the Lazio win, his most important midfielder is back and, maybe most important of all, some of the other injury issues that have truly ravaged the team in recent weeks are starting to ease up a little bit.
Date: Tuesday, March 9 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Allianz Stadium — Turin, Italy
Odds: Juventus -220; Draw +340; Porto +625 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Giorgio Chiellini has recovered from an injury and is expected to start along with Leonardo Bonucci.
Andrea Pirlo’s side picked up 15 points to finish top of Group G, a closing 3-0 win at Barcelona – 2-0 winners in Turin on Matchday 2 – enabling them to finish above the Spanish side on head-to-head record. Juve also recorded two victories against both Dynamo Kyiv (2-0 a, 3-0 h) and Ferencváros (4-1 a, 2-1 h).
Cristiano Ronaldo was on target against Ferencváros on Matchday 4 and has now found the net in 16 consecutive editions of the UEFA Champions League, matching the feat of Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema.