Juventus are odds on favourites to progress to the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League when they take on Portuguese giants FC Porto in the 2nd leg tonight at the Juventus stadium. The Old Lady take a healthy 2-0 lead into tonight’s game in Turin courtesy of goals from Dani Alves and Marko Pjaca in the first leg in Portugal. Given the Bianconeri’s formidable home record (31 straight wins in Serie A), Porto face a near impossible task of overcoming a 2 goal deficit and securing their place in the next round.
So who are the key players from both teams who should feature in your fantasy UCL squad? Continue reading.
Tiquinho (FC Porto)
Francisco ‘Tiquinho’ Soares has been a revelation for Porto since joining them Vitória de Guimarães in the January transfer window. The Brazilian footballer has scored 9 goals in 6 league games since joining the Portuguese giants in January. If Porto are to have any hopes of upsetting Juventus on their own turf, Tiquinho will have to be at his prolific best in front of goal.
Francisco ‘Tiquinho’ Soares has scored 9 goals in 6 league games since joining Porto in January.
They always find a goalscorer. pic.twitter.com/QYfmIqvQlW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 11, 2017
Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)
After missing Bianconeri’s controversial 2-1 home win against AC Milan last Friday due to suspension, Juan Cuadrado is a certain starter against Porto tonight. The Colombian has fitted seamlessly into Allegri’s new 4-2-3-1 formation, taking his position on the right flank. He scored an important winner away to Lyon in the Group stage of the competition to ensure top spot for the Old Lady. If Juventus get on the scoresheet tonight, there is a good chance it will be through Cuadrado’s trickery on the right.
— Juan Cuadrado (@Cuadrado) March 13, 2017
Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto)
Algerian winger Yacine Brahimi will be central to Porto’s hopes of advancing to the next round of the Champions League. With Jesus Corona and Rúben Neves doubtful for the Juventus clash tonight, Brahimi will have to be at his creative best to conjure a memorable Porto comeback. The Algerian has a phenomenal goalscoring record for Porto in the Champions League (8 goals in 20 appearances). His attacking forays from the left will be a major threat for the Juventus right back on the night (Dani Alves or Stephan Lichtsteiner).
“We’re very united and we hope every player can give a good performance tomorrow. We’ll have to play a great match,” said Brahimi in the pre-match press conference.
African players with Champions League hat-trick:
Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng ??
Samuel Eto’o ??
Didier Drogba ??
Yacine Brahimi ??
Yakubu ?? pic.twitter.com/h83D6wqgyW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 8, 2017
Alex Sandro (Juventus)
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Allegri’s new 4-2-3-1 formation has been Brazilian left-back Alex Sandro. Mario Mandzukic, a right-footed centre-forward, is deployed by Allegri on the left-hand side of Juventus’ attacking trio behind Gonzalo Higuain. This gives Sandro, an attacking full-back, the license to bomb forward without invitation and get his crosses in. With Mandzukic and Higuain in the box, Sandro’s deliveries from the left touchline are a major source of danger for the opposition defence. Watch out for the dynamic Brazilian tonight.
Juve have started the negotiations to extend the contract of Alex Sandro until 2021. The Brazilian left-back could earn €4.5m/yr. [Corsport] pic.twitter.com/wfSN9VEns6
— Khaledalnouss (@khaledalnouss1) March 8, 2017