Match Preview: Juventus vs Ajax

Juventus v Club de Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 12: Atmosphere during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Juventus and Club de Atletico Madrid at Allianz Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Turin, . (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Juventus host Ajax to the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final encounter.

It is going to be all open in Turin as both clubs played a 1-1 draw at the Johan Cruyff Arena last Wednesday, thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and David Neres.

Juventus missed their first chance to clinch the eighth successive Serie A title, losing 2-1 at SPAL over the weekend.

Ajax visit the Old Lady on the back of the 6-2 victory against Excelsior, which saw veteran striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar score a hat-trick.

Team news

Max Allegri opted to rest some of his first-team stars for the away trip to SPAL on Saturday, which means Cristiano Ronaldo, Mandzukic, Pjanic, Alex Sandro and Bonucci should be back in the starting XI for the clash against Ajax.

Giorgio Chiellini, Martin Caceres, Emre Can, and Douglas Costa are all set to miss out through injury, while Blaise Matuidi is a doubt after leaving the field early during the first leg.

Frenkie de Jong is the major concern for Erik ten Hag, as he picked up an injury during the weekend, limping off the field in the first half against Excelsior.

Hassane Bande and Carel Eiting reman sidelined are expected to miss the Champions League trip to Turin.

What did the managers say

Juventus is only one win away from securing the eighth straight Scudetto, so their head coach Massimiliano Allegri believes they should now focus on the Champions League.

“Making records is very difficult, you have to spend energy and there is also Europe to concentrate on,” he said via the Juventus official website.

Philippe Coutinho: My controversial goal celebration was liberating

Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho has no regrets over his controversial goal celebration against Manchester United, despite the hostile reception he's received for it.

“If we had put to put all our starters in, it would have been easier to win it, but there is the goal to obtain on Tuesday. We have made 27 victories, three draws, and two defeats and this is an impressive record.

“I had an excellent response from Dybala. With strikers like that, you have to respond to show the best. I’m happy with what Paulo did today. It’s a good sign for Tuesday, when everyone is needed, even on a mental level, and that’s why it’s important to have Kean in these conditions.”

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag believes his side has to quality to get past Juventus in the Champions League.

“[1-1] is not the result you hope for, but it is a result. Last time we also lost 2-1 to Madrid at home – we are still good at it,” he said via Sky Sports after the first leg at home.

“We spent a lot of time in possession and were patient. And we had some very good opportunities in the game. At half-time I told them to keep doing what they were doing, you see that Juventus make mistakes.”

Stats

Juventus have won 12 of their last 13 home games, drawing only with Parma back in February.

Ajax have scored 19 goals in their last five games across all competitions – an average of 3,8 per match.

The Bianconeri have the upper hand when it comes to history, as they are unbeaten in the last eight encounters with Ajax.

Juventus have suffered only one home defeat this season – in the Champions League group stage against Manchester United.

Ajax are looking to qualify for their first Champions League semi-finals since 1997 when they lost to Juve 6-2 on aggregate.