A battle plan for a Juventus win against FC Porto
The next game against FC Porto will be crucial to validate Juventus' project this year. The “Bianconeri” has suffered a lot of injuries, but that cannot be used as an excuse especially after the first leg performance in Portugal. The Serie A champions are obligated to win and pass on to the later rounds taking into consideration last year’s elimination against Lyon.
FC Porto plays in a 4-4-2 and last time they showed great organization on both sides of the ball. The team coached by Sérgio Conceição uses an aggressive defense with constant waves of high pressure, which can be difficult for Juventus' game building. Porto can also be very compact in their side of the field not allowing any good penetration. In the first leg, they were able to attack with numbers using the wing and strikers’ movements to stretch, this was key for their inside passing.
Defensively Juventus must be organized and constantly communicating between lines. Pressure from the strikers will difficult the game-building of the Portuguese team. The midfield will be the key. Pressure in the middle should be constant to get the ball back as fast as possible and also to close the spaces. The midfielders should also be ready to support the wings. The backline must be ready to win the one-on-one duels and also cover the spaces left by the high pressure.
Offensively Juventus must have a well-rounded attack. FC Porto will try to pressure the ball high so the passes must be fast and precise. The position and number of players supporting must also be correct to stretch the press and open passing lanes. “La Vecchia Signora” must not be afraid of the long ball. Passes over the defense will take advantage of the speed of the players in front. Wing play will be crucial to associate or cross the ball to the area. Strikers will have to attack the spaces and move constantly, which will open the field for inside passes.
Set pieces can be a great opportunity to score. Juve will have to be aggressive to win those air duels. Counterattacks can also be an important part of the ‘Bianconeri” attacks. With players like Chiesa, Morata, and Cristiano. Turin’s team needs to use these open spaces with speed and precision.
The Champions League has been an objective for Juventus the last couple of years. An elimination by Porto will be a big blow for the team's morale. To avoid elimination, Juventus must be relentless and try to win every ball. “Grinta” must be present from the start of the game until the final whistle.