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Monaco needs miracle comeback against Juventus

Thomas Lemar after scoring a goal for Monaco against Nancy, Saturday 6 May 2017 Eric Gaillard / Reuters

Juventus host Monaco in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final later on Tuesday. The League 1 leaders need to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the first leg to have any chance of going through to the final.

Monaco have never won a game in Italy in seven attempts.

While Juventus' record is unlikely to fuel them with much hope either, the Italians have won all 11 knockout ties against Ligue 1 opponents.

So much so that even Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim rates it as only a one in 20 shot.

"We have to believe, there is a second leg to be played," said striker Valere Germain.

Germain might have left his side with more belief than hope had he not fluffed a late chance to reduce Juventus' advantage to a single goal in the first leg.

But since their disappointing first match, the French side have improved.

Monaco secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Nancy at the weekend, moving closer to winning the French league and reaching 150 goals for the season.

"We have to stay confident, try to play our game and put on a good performance and if we score at the start of the game, maybe that could change things," said Jardim ahead of the match.

Players like 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe, one of the hottest properties in European football, and resurgent Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, could very well be the catalyst for an upset.

Jardim's men could also take advantage of the absence of Gonzalo Higuain--Juventus's hero in Monaco, who scored both goals in the first encounter.

The hosts are on the verge of wrapping up a sixth straight Italian title. They did look out of sorts in a 1-1 draw with local rivals Torino at the weekend but Massimiliano Allegri had rested a string of key players ahead of Tuesday's encounter.

"Monaco are a side with great talent and we have absolutely not yet sealed our qualification. We need to win the second leg," Allegri said.