Barcelona and Juventus will go head-to-head at Camp Nou in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Having already qualified for the knockout stage of the elite competition, both teams will slug it out for top spot in the group.
Barcelona have secured maximum points from five rounds of matches in the Champions League this season, including a 2-0 win in Turin when they met Juventus back in October – a game Cristiano Ronaldo missed due to coronavirus.
That victory against Juventus on Matchday 2 contributed to keeping Barcelona in top spot, three points above the Old Lady. Meanwhile, Juve prevailed in their other four group–stage games, and a 3-0 win or any two-goal margin other than 2-0 will see them finish above Barcelona in the group.
Barca were without Messi when they eased to a 3-0 win against Ferencvarosi in the Champions League last week, with Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite and Ousmane Dembele all scoring inside the opening 28 minutes of the game.
Elsewhere, Juve were impressive against Dynamo Kiev, with Federico Chiesa, Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata producing the goals. For Ronaldo, that was the 750th goal of his illustrious career, and he’ll be eager to increase that mind-blowing tally when he renews his epic rivalry with Lionel Messi and company.
While Barca have been superb in the Champions League, their form in La Liga has continued to waver. They’re ninth in the domestic league after ten rounds of action, and were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by newly-promoted Cadiz on Saturday.
But that could do little to their confidence level ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with Juventus.
Juventus, meanwhile, haven’t lost a match in the Serie A this season, but are fourth on the log, after five wins and five draws. Thanks to late goals from Weston Mckennie and Leonardo Bonnuci, they were able to edge Torino 2-1 in the Turin derby on Saturday. Can they build on that?
Barcelona: Ousmane Dembele picked up a hamstring injury against Cadiz on Saturday and will be out til next month The Frenchman joins Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati and Sergio Roberto on the sidelines.
Also, defender Samuel Umtiti has a knee problem and could miss out.
Juventus: Merih Demiral, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon are the only players currently sidelined through injuries for the Old Lady.
Goals on both ends.
Barcelona have been playing well in Europe this season and will fancy their chances against Juve, whom they defeated earlier in October.
We feel Barca should edge this again, but not easily. Juventus have Ronaldo back for this one – so more attacking threat for the Italian side.
We are predicting a closely-fought encounter, with both teams finding the back of the net.