Juventus vs Barcelona has been pegged as one of the most-waited fixtures of the UEFA Champions League since the group stage draws were announced. Two of the absolute superpowers in European football, Juventus and Barcelona have been regulars in the elite football competition and the contest on Wednesday promises to be a star-studded affair at the Allianz Stadium.
There have been only six Juventus vs Barcelona encounters and although La Liga giants Barcelona hold a clear advantage in those face-offs – winning three games, losing one and drawing two matches – their current transition process will make this group stage match a tricky task.
With Andrea Pirlo taking over Juventus’ managerial position from Maurizio Sarri, the Old Lady has had a slow start to their Serie A campaign. Juventus sit fifth in the points table with nine points from five matches with their last league match ending in a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona on Sunday. However, momentum won’t be Juventus’ biggest worry coming into the Barcelona clash. Juventus will be without Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese superstar tested positive for coronavirus for the second time. Apart from him, last season’s big money import Matthijs de Ligt is out with a shoulder injury as well. Skipper Giorgio Chiellini and full-back Alex Sandro are doubtful as well.
The Catalans come to the match at the back of a frustrating 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the El Clasico at Nou Camp on Saturday, where Barca’s only scorer was the enigmatic Ansu Fati. An away win against Juventus could leave that frustration behind fast for Barcelona, although they have to get the job done without goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, defender Samuel Umtiti and forward Philippe Coutinho – who are all injured. If that wasn’t enough, veteran defender Gerard Pique is suspended for the clash as well.
Juventus (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny, Juan Cuadrado, Leonardo Bonucci, Merih Demiral, Danilo, Dejan Kulusevski, Rodrigo Bentancur, Adrien Rabiot, Federico Chiesa, Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata
Barcelona (4-4-2): Neto, Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Francisco Trincao, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati, Lionel Messi
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