Juventus: Five steps to overcome Bayern Munich
Champions League: Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Juventus have a mountain to climb to overcome Bayern Munich & progress to the semi-finals
Juventus trail Bayern Munich 2-0 after their first leg defeat. But there Champions League dream isn't completely over. Here's five steps they must take if they are to overcome the Bundesliga champions and progress to the semi-finals.
1. Find space for Pirlo to work his magic
In the first leg, every time Pirlo moved, so did the Bayern Munich midfield in an attempt to stifle his unique creative talents, and as the scoreline shows, it worked. To get a result in Turin, the midfield magician must work hard for himself, but his teammates must help ease the pressure on their main man. If Pogba starts next to Pirlo, his physical presence could keep the marking men away for long enough for Pirlo to make the killer passes he is so famous for.
2. Start Vucinic and Quagliarella over Giovinco and Matri
When Vucinic came on as a substitute for Matri in the second half of the first leg, he changed the game for the Bianconeri. He was recovering from the flu and Conte may have wanted to preserve him so he could play the whole 90 minutes of the second leg. The big Montenegrins pace and control made Juve look a lot more dangerous in the final third, and if he was on the whole match, he probably would have scored. His size means that he can also compete physically with Van Buyten and Boateng. If Juve are going to turn the tie around, he should prove to be pivotal. Quagliarella may have been invisible in Germany, but he has the ability to take the ball from 30 yards out and turn nothing into something wonderful, like his goal against Inter in Serie A last Saturday. He may fade in and out of games and be frustrating at times, but there is no doubting his natural talent, and he can pop up with big goals in big games.
3. Bring in Pogba for the suspended Vidal
This has been the young Frenchman's breakthrough season. After not getting a chance at Manchester United, Conte could see talent what Ferguson couldn’t, and it has paid off. He could be a permanent fixture in the Juventus line-up for the next decade. His physical presence would help Juventus win the midfield battle and could also help the Old Lady find a plan B. He has a good passing range for someone so inexperienced and his shots from range can be venomous. Playing him in the hole between defence and midfield could be just what Juve need.
4. Play physically
Juventus are not known as a physical team and usually break a team down with their mesmeric passing and lighting quick counter attacks, but with Lichtsteiner missing, it means that the counter attack tactic won’t work as well down the right flank. With Bayern playing physically in the first game and Juve not expecting it, repaying the favour could be enough to shock Bayern into making mistakes. With Pogba, Asamoah, Chiellini, Bonucci and Vucinic all being good in the air and having a large physical presence, Juve have just what they need to pull it off.
5. Attack from the start
In Serie A, it is a common sight to see Juve kick off and immediately go for the jugular like they are behind with only a matter of seconds left, just to throw the opposing team off and catch them off guard. The same tactic could work perfectly against a Bayern team whose only world class defender is Lahm. With Van Buyten turning 35 just two months ago, his pace has left and his reactions can be sloppy, while Boateng is famously inconsistent, if Juve launch attacks early against a sometimes leaky back line, the goals will surely come.
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