Champions League preview: Juventus hosts Ajax in make or mar 2nd leg
The old lady of Juventus has the chance of progressing into the semi-final, two steps beyond their 2017/2018 campaign in the Uefa Champions League when they host the young guns of Ajax to the quarter-final second leg in Turin on Tuesday.
Juventus have the away goal advantage after securing a 1-1 draw in the first leg when they travelled to Johan Cruijff ArenA in the Netherlands last week Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was doubtful for the encounter due to a hamstring injury, put the old lady in front after his 45th-minute header went past Ajax goalkeeper Andres Onana.
Juventus were not done celebrating their away goal when Neres Campos drew the hosts level with a 46th-minute goal.
But going into Tuesday night clash, Ajax “de Godenzonen” (Sons of the Gods) have proven they can take out any side in Europe after the humiliating exit they handed defending champions Real Madrid.
However, Juventus look the more favourable to advance to the Semi-final.
“Juve are the favourites, especially after the Amsterdam result,” Ajax manager Ten Haag admitted.
“If we play well, we can overcome any limit.”
Juventus have not lost any of their last 10 challenges against Ajax in all competitions, no team has a longer unbeaten run in European competitions against another opponent (at par with Bayern against Benfica).
The old lady will be wary of Ajax, who remain unbeaten in their last four with two wins and two draws following a series of seven defeats in eight away matches against Italian teams.
Like Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus, Dusan Tadic has taken an active part in 53% of Ajax’ goals in the Champions League this season with 6 goals, 3 assists on 17 goals in total.
Barcelona bound Frenkie de Jong is a doubt to feature for Ajax ahead of their Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday, according to head coach Erik Ten Haag.
The midfielder limped off on Saturday. Ten Haag, however, said the team is willing to take ‘responsible risk’ over star midfielder.
Juventus on the other side is yet to decide the fate of German midfielder Emre Can, who missed the first leg and could return to Massimiliano Allegri’s side.
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