Our event of the day is the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie between Juventus and Atlético Madrid which will take place at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. The home side will have it all to do in this game after falling behind by two goals to nil in the first meeting last month. In that game, goals from José Giménez and Diego Godín handed the Spanish side the advantage, and Diego Simeone will turn to his defensive duo once more tonight but this time call upon their defensive capabilities rather than their goal scoring prowess to comfortably see out the tie. In spite of their troubles in Europe, Juventus are flying high in Serie A and remain top of the league, 18 points clear of Napoli in second. They are enjoying a five-game winning streak in domestic football and will hope to transfer that form into European competition as they welcome Atlético to the Allianz tonight. There are few players in world football that Massimiliano Allegri would sooner call upon to dig his side out of this hole than one Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be desperate to better this year’s tally of just one Champions League goal.
The five-time Champions League winner has notched 121 goals playing at Europe’s top table and is no stranger to the latter stages of the competition, appearing in four of the last five Champions League finals. Atlético also go into this game on the back of a five-game winning streak, winning those fixtures by an aggregate score of 8-0, which will make grim reading for Juventus fans who will need to see their side score at least twice if they are to have any chance of progressing. After dropping out of the Champions League during last year’s group stages, Atleti went all the way in the Europa League to lift their second European trophy in seven years. However, upon returning to the top tier of European football, they will be hoping to emulate last year’s performances in the Europa League to reach their second Champions League final in four seasons. These two sides last met on Juventus’ home turf in the 2014/15 edition of the competition, on which occasion the spoils were shared with a 0-0 scoreline and the visitors will be hoping for a similar outcome from tonight’s affair. It should be a thrilling night of European football.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the world of horse racing with the Cheltenham Festival getting underway today at the Cheltenham racecourse at Prestbury Park in Gloucestershire. With over 250,000 people attending last year’s festival, the event is one of the world’s biggest horse racing events and is often considered the jewel in the crown of the jump racing calendar. With total prize money second only to the Grand National on offer, you can be sure of some exhilarating action from start to finish! Back in the Champions League, Manchester City will be hoping to book their place in the last eight as they face Schalke at the Etihad. The Citizens gained a narrow advantage in the tie after completing a magnificent comeback in the first leg which sees them go into tonight’s game with a 3-2 aggregate lead. Across the pond, the Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves headline the night’s action in the NBA as they do battle at the Pepsi Center in the Mile High City. In EFL League One, Luton Town will look to extend their 23-game unbeaten run in the league as they face strugglers Bradford City at the Northern Commercials Stadium. Finally, the BNP Paribas Open continues today where compatriots Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka will headline the action.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Juventus; Atlético Madrid
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