Juventus will play host to Barcelona in a highly-anticipated Champions League group stage clash at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night.
Following victories in their respective Champions League opening group games last week, both heavyweights will look to outdo eachother on Wednesday in a bid to take charge of Group G standings.
Juventus had accounted for Dynamo Kiev 2-0, thanks to Alvaro Morata’s second-half brace, while Barcelona ran past Ferencvarosi 5-1, with Lionel Messi playing a starring role.
They, however, could not to translate that form onto the domestic scene, with both sides failing to register wins in their respective leagues during the weekend. While Juventus played out a 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona in the Serie A, Barcelona were outclassed 3-1 by their rivals, Real Madrid in the Spanish Liga.
They continue to struggle in their respective domestic leagues; Juventus sitting in 5th place after 5 rounds of action, while Barcelona are in 12th place, with 7 points from 5 games so far – very poor judging by their standards.
Can they regain their feet when they lock horns?
- This will be the 14th match between Juventus and Barcelona in competitive football, with the Italian giants failing to score in their last three meetings with the Spanish outfit (D2 L1).
- Juventus are unbeaten in their previous six home matches against Barcelona in all competitions (W3 D3), drawing last time out in November 2017.
- Juventus’ tally of six home games without ever losing versus Barcelona is their joint-best total against a side in European competition, alongside their six unbeaten matches versus Atletico Madrid (W5 D1).
- Barcelona are currently unbeaten in six matches versus Italian teams in the UEFA Champions League (W4 D2), since losing 0-3 versus Roma in April 2018. Barcelona have only lost twice in their last 18 Champions League games versus Italian opposition (W10 D6).
- Barcelona have only suffered one defeat in their last 17 UEFA Champions League group stage games on the road (W10 D6), going unbeaten in each of the last 10.
Juventus: It’s still not certain if Cristiano Ronaldo will be available for the match. The Portuguese superstar had tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the month and is still under assessment.
Meanwhile, defender Matthijs de Ligt is still recovering from a shoulder injury, while captain Giorgio Chiellini is a doubt.
Possible starting XI: Wojciech Szczesny — Juan Cuadrado, Leonardo Bonucci, Merih Demiral, Danilo — Dejan Kulusevski, Rodrigo Bentancur, Adrien Rabiot, Federico Chiesa — Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata.
Barcelona: Goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen remains sidelined, so Neto should stand in goal. Defender, Samuel Umtiti is also injured and will not be available, while Philippe Coutinho is a doubt for the match after the Brazilian sustained a hamstring injury against Real Madrid last weekend.
Gerard Pique is facing suspension after his red card against Ferencvarosi last week.
Possible starting XI: Neto — Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba — Francisco Trincao, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann — Ansu Fati, Lionel Messi
Both Juventus and Barcelona aren’t performing at their best yet. They both failed to win their last league games and will come into Wednesday’s contest eager to bounce back and with a point to prove.
Expect this to be closely-contested with both teams doing just enough to get on the scoresheet.
Both teams to score in this one.