Wednesday 17 January 2018

Coach Jardim hopes young guns shine against Juventus


Coach Leonardo Jardim believes Monaco's march to the Champions League quarter-finals is proof that clubs do not have to splash the cash in order to achieve European success.

Four years have passed since Dmitry Rybolovlev's takeover prompted a slew of big-name arrivals at the Stade Louis II, with the likes of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho signed for hefty transfer fees.

But the Russian billionaire has tightened the purse strings in recent seasons and, with most of Monaco's expensive signings subsequently moving on, Jardim has been forced to nurture young talent after finding his options in the transfer market somewhat restricted.

Monaco's new-found financial prudence is beginning to yield results, however, with Les Rouges et Blancs third in Ligue 1 and still in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of European football's premier club competition for the first time in 11 years.


The principality club host Juventus at the Stade Louis II tonight looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the quarter-final first leg and Jardim, who replaced Claudio Ranieri last June, is proud of what he has achieved in his 10 months at the helm.

"We went from the worst qualified team in the fourth pot, to winning the group, to knocking out a European giant in Arsenal (in the last 16)," he said.

"Right now, you could say that Monaco's coach is very proud of his players. We've shown that we don't need to make big investments to go far in this competition.

"The club changed its strategy and the project (in the summer). They have stayed ambitious but the onus was placed more on the development of young players."

Jardim's young guns will have to be on top form if they are to advance to the semi-finals past a Juventus side 15 points clear at the top of the Serie A standings and well poised after Arturo Vidal's spot-kick winner in Turin last Tuesday.

Juve are bidding to reach their first Champions League semi-final for 12 years and boss Massimiliano Allegri is taking nothing for granted ahead of tonight's encounter.


"The clean sheet at home gives us a slight advantage, even though it won't be straightforward," he said.

Monaco will be without striker Lacina Traore and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, who are both nursing leg injuries.

Juventus are without midfielder Paul Pogba (hamstring) and defender Martin Caceres (ankle).

monaco v juventus, live setanta irl/sky sp 5 (ko 7.45)

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