UEFA Champions League Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Juventus
A surging Juventus squad will travel to Catalonia on Tuesday to take on Barcelona in their first UEFA Champions League match of the 2017-18 season.
Barcelona and Juventus – the two teams are favourites to make it out of Group D, one of the toughest in the competition, with Olympiakos and Sporting CP also present – lock horns at Camp Nou on Tuesday as they get their Champions League campaigns under way.
The teams have developed somewhat of a rivalry in recent years and they have already met this season in the International Champions Cup, with Barca winning 2-1 thanks to two whooping goals from Neymar Jr.
The pair met in the 2015 Champions League final, which Barca won, but Juve had their revenge when they met at the quarter-final stage last season, triumphing 3-0 on aggregate on their run to the final.
Match Details :-
Date : Tuesday, September 12 // Wednesday, September 13 ( in India, China, Japan, Australia and Indonesia )
Time : 18:45 ( GMT ) // 19:45 ( CET ) // 14:45 ( ET ) // 00:15 ( IST )
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
TV Info: Fox Sports 2 (U.S.) // BT Sport Extra 2 ( UK ) // Sony Ten 2/HD ( INDIA ) // Bell TV ( CANADA ) // beIN Sports, Canal + France ( FRANCE ) // Match TV ( RUSSIA ) // beIN Sports ( Arab Countries ) // beIN Sports ( Australia ) // beIN Sports ( Indonesia ) // Japan – SKY PerfecTV
Live Stream: BT Sport Extra (UK) // Fox Soccer 2Go ( USA ) // Mobdro App // Sony LIV App // JIO TV App //
Match Preview :
FC Barcelona : A 5-0 derby win, an assist for Barça’s record signing in his debut game, a four-point LaLiga lead over Real Madrid ought to have brought some relief to Barça’s beleaguered board.
Barça had a difficult start to life without Neymar but once the LaLiga campaign kick-started, there was no holding back Valverde’s boys. Apart from bagging 9 points from 3 games, they have put up some beautiful play on display during their LaLiga matches.
Yet no sooner had the celebration died down from Suarez’s finish from Dembele’s pass in the final minute of Saturday’s thrashing of Espanyol, than the cries for President Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign rang around the Camp Nou. In the eyes of the fans, Bartomeu and his cohorts deserve no reflected glory for the players’ performance as they have been in open conflict with the dressing room during a chaotic summer precipitated by Neymar’s departure.
Barcelona enjoyed a productive weekend, as Lionel Messi bagged his 38th Barça hat-trick in a 5-0 win over local rivals Espanyol.
The Catalans did not have a great summer and looked vulnerable in the Spanish Super Cup loss against Real Madrid, but their start to the La Liga season has been excellent so far.
In many ways, the visit of Juventus is the perfect test to find out just how good his side is for manager Ernesto Valverde.
Juventus : Juventus have enjoyed a perfect start to the 2017-18 Serie A season and continued their solid form on Saturday, beating Chievo 3-0 at home.
Argentine hot-shot Dybala has been in excellent form of late and he was the one who netted twice in the first leg of previous year’s Champions League in Turin to oust Barcelona from the Champions League.
A lot has changed since these two sides met back in April and it will be interesting to see how both coaches approach the game as they attempt to lay down an early marker in the tournament.
Juventus are clearly going to miss the talents and experience of Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci as both the defenders left Juventus in the summer transfer window to join PSG and AC Milan respectively. Alex Sandro and Sami Khedira, who both featured in the 3-0 win over Barca in Turin, could miss out, meaning that the Juve team that takes to the field on Tuesday will have a distinctly different complexion.
Team News :-
FC Barcelona: Rafinha will miss out as he continues to recover from injury as will Arda Turan, but Ivan Rakitic managed to play the full game against Espanyol and is likely to take the field against Juventus too.
Juventus : The Bianconeri will miss the services of star defender Chiellini . Mario Mandzukic left Saturday’s contest against Chievo with a knock and Alex Sandro was sidelined with flu. Juan Cuadrado will also be suspended after his red card in last year’s final, but Douglas Costa started against Chievo and is a natural replacement. Claudio Marchisio and Marko Pjaca are long-term absentees. There are doubts regarding Sami Khedira too.
Likely Line-ups :-
FC Barcelona :- Ter Stegen; Alba, Umtiti, Pique, Semedo; Rakitic, Iniesta, Busquets; Deulofeu, Messi, L. Suarez.
Juventus :- Buffon; De Sciglio, Benatia, Rugani, Asamoah; Pjanic, Matuidi, Costa, Dybala; Mandzukic, Higuain.