May 8, 2017 / 8:32 PM / 5 months ago

Juve have more belief than two years ago, says Chiellini

Football Soccer - Juventus News Conference - Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy - 8/5/17. Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini during the news conference. REUTERS/Max Rossi

(Reuters) - The current Juventus side have more self belief than the team which finished runners-up in the Champions League two years ago, defender Giorgio Chiellini said on Monday.

Beaten 3-1 by Barcelona in Berlin in the 2015 final, Juve have an excellent chance to reach the showpiece match again when they host AS Monaco on Tuesday holding a 2-0 lead from the away leg of their semi-final tie.

“I’d say the greatest difference between this Juventus and the one you saw in the final two years ago is inner belief,” Chiellini told reporters.

”I don’t think any of us really expected to go all the way to Berlin but we grew into the competition as it went on.

”We showed maybe a little too much respect to Barcelona in the final and that showed in our performance.

“This time around we know how to manage the key moments and we have the confidence to go toe-to-toe with Europe’s best in the knowledge that we have what it takes to beat them.”

Juventus are unbeaten in the competition this season and have not conceded a goal in their last six Champions League games stretching back to the final round of the group stage.

Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri was predictably cautious about their chances, although no team has ever lost a Champions League knockout stage match after winning the first leg away from home by two goals.

“You never know in football, we have to keep our concentration,” he said. “Monaco have nothing to lose, they have quality players and are playing for a place in the final.”

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said his team needed to be more efficient than they were against Juve at home.

“In the first leg, we had as many shots on goal as Juventus but with an efficiency rate of zero percent,” he said.

”We need to play our game and try and score a goal in the first half.

“We will do everything we can to make sure this is not our last match in the competition. At the start of the season, nobody believed we would get beyond the group stage.”

The winners will play Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in the final in Cardiff on June 3. Real lead 3-0 from the first leg.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Ken Ferris

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