UEFA Champions League 2016/17: 5 reasons why Juventus will win the Champions League
The Italian semi-finalists have a foot firmly placed in the final, following an away win in the first leg.
Wednesday night saw Juventus take a giant stride in the right direction, beating surprise package AS Monaco by two goals at the Stade Louis II in France, in their quest for a first Champions League title since 1995/96.
The Italians stayed focused and were in control throughout the game, thwarting wave after wave of Monaco attack before gaining a foothold through Gonzalo Higuain’s goal just before the half-hour mark. The second half saw El Pipita score his second goal of the night and fifth of the European campaign.
Dani Alves impressed on the night, providing both assists (surely Barcelona will have regretted selling him?), to put his side in the driver’s seat.
Juventus have never lost a two-legged tie against a French team in European competition and have seen off Monaco twice in 1997/98 as well as 2014/15. They go into next week’s home leg as clear favourites to reach the final.
In this piece, we take a look at five reasons why Juventus will go the distance to become champions of Europe this season.
#5 Focus, motivation and the law of averages
Juventus are at the top of the Serie A table with 84 points from 34 games played. With just four games left, the Bianconeri have a virtually unassailable nine-point lead over second-placed AS Roma. They also take on Lazio in the finals of the Coppa Italia but that is not until early June, leaving Massimiliano Allegri’s side well-placed to focus completely on Europe. On the other hand, Real Madrid and AS Monaco have Barcelona and PSG hot on their heels respectively, in their chase for domestic glory.
With a sixth consecutive league title almost in the bag and another domestic trophy to play for, Juve will have their sights firmly set on the Champions league trophy to make it a handsome treble haul.
If that is not enough motivation, there is also the added reason of winning it for their legendary captain Gigi Buffon. In a career spanning 17 years with Juve where he has been part of both good times and some difficult ones, the iconic keeper has won almost everything on offer except the crowning glory of Europe. Will this finally be his year? Only time will tell.
Having beaten Atletico Madrid 3-0 at the Bernabeu, defending champions Real Madrid have every reason to be almost certain of a place in the final for the second straight year. However, no team has won the Champions League back-to-back, giving their opponents a slight edge.
With a two-goal away advantage gained from the first leg against AS Monaco, this could be the Turin side’s second Champions League final in three seasons, a stupendously consistent record. Juve have lost six UCL finals in the last 50 years to Madrid’s none but this is no cause for alarm; the law of averages has a way of catching up when least expected.