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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Juventus: Champions League dark horses

A 5-1 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund sent Italian giants Juventus into the hat for Friday’s quarter final draw, a stage they last reached in the 2012/13 season. On this occasion a 2-1 win in Turin and a hugely impressive 3-0 win away to Dortmund, one of Europe’s most intimidating stadiums, saw them progress and must make other teams wary of the quality they possess.

Last season Massimiliano Allegri’s side were unable to progress past the group stages in another poor European season, somewhat taking away from their third domestic title in a row. Reaching the quarter-final is already a respectable return for the last remaining Serie A side in the competition but after such a great win they are sure to be confident of going even further. The draw will be huge in their hopes of progressing, getting the likes of Porto or Monaco would give Juve every chance of making it to the Champions League semi-finals.

Whether or not the draw is kind to them, Allegri’s side will be confident they have enough quality to compete against the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The Juventus squad is full of big names, Carlos Tevez being one of those. The former Manchester City man scored 3 goals in the two legs against Dortmund and was arguably their best player, Tevez is not the only star, former Madrid man Morata scored one in each leg for Juve while they also have Paul Pogba, Marchisio, Vidal and Chiellini in their ranks.

Domestically Juventus are set for their fourth consecutive league title, currently 14 points ahead of 2nd placed Roma, after 27 games the Serie A title looks all but secure giving them a good chance to concentrate on Europe and their progression in the Champions League. They have often been accused of being unable to replicate their league form in Europe but this season they look to have their best opportunity in a long time.

Having reached the quarter-final stage in 2013, 2006 and 2005, this could be the season they progress past this stage for the first time since 2003 when they made it to the final only to lose to fierce rivals AC Milan. Allegri’s side are not considered one of the main contenders for this years competition but with a bit of luck they could beat any team on their day and possibly go all the way.

photo credit: JUVE via photopin (license)
photo credit: Martino spiega l'escusione di Tevez dall'Argentina via photopin (license)