Predicted XI

Champions League team news: How Juventus could line up against Porto

Cristiano Ronaldo was rested in league action but will return to the starting lineup against Porto.

10:30am on Monday 8th March 2021
Nicholas Hughes

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the starting XI for Juventus and will be hoping for another famous Champions League performance as the Old Lady look to overturn a deficit against Porto.

Juve lost 2-1 at the Dragao in February, with that away goal a late strike from Federico Chiesa that could prove vital in the context of the tie.

Andrea Pirlo will be without a host of first-teamers for this second leg, with their lineup in the 3-1 win against Lazio on the weekend looking very different to the one that was put out in Portugal.

Juan Cuadrado will likely be forced to start at right-back with Danilo suspended, while the clash will probably come too early for Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt in their recoveries.

Leonardo Bonucci appeared from the bench against Lazio and should be ready to start alongside Merih Demiral, allowing Alex Sandro to return to left-back after lining up in the centre at the weekend.

Dejan Kulusevski has recently partnered Ronaldo up front but is likely to shift back to the right side of midfield for this one, with Paulo Dybala remaining injured and Arthur still some way from returning in the middle.

That will allow Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie to marshal the midfield, with Rodrigo Bentancur also unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

Chiesa should continue as the left-sided midfielder and will aim to repeat his first leg contribution as Juve look to advance to the quarter-finals.

Alvaro Morata made his first start in almost a month against Lazio, contributing with two goals and an assist to give Pirlo some food for thought.

That added to his goal off the bench against Spezia during the week, and with absentees throughout the side the Spaniard should have done enough to keep his place up front.

That will leave Ronaldo next to him. The Portuguese will be out to add to his four goals in the Champions League so far, having scored four goals in three league starts since the first leg defeat.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has made a habit of producing heroic second leg comebacks in the Champions League, and he may need to do the same again here if the Bianconeri are to advance to the last eight.

Juventus starting XI versus Porto

Juve - Football tactics and formations

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