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Juventus v Barcelona Champions League Match Preview

November 22, 2017

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Juventus v Barcelona

Champions League | Group D | Game 5 – Wednesday, 22nd November – 19:45 GMT – Juventus Stadium


juventus

Juventus

Juventus come into this match on the back of a poor performance against Sampdoria, losing 3-2 away from home, but more important was the manner of the loss. Despite dominating the match for the first 45 mins, once again they failed to kill off the game with a number of first-half chances and were duly punished by Samp side that deserved victory.

It seems to be a symptom of Juve’s problems this season – They play well to begin with, dominate early on or even score, get overrun in midfield, make elementary mistakes and the defence invariably switches off and we gift chances to our opponents. Of course, we have to respect the teams that have beaten us and give them their due credit, but we have handed victory to the opposition on more than one occasion.

Heading into this match we know that a victory will guarantee us a place in the last 16, the only thing standing in our way is a Barcelona side that is undefeated all season long, only dropping points twice in all competitions. It’s an impressive and intimidating prospect, but when we stay focused for the full 90 minutes, we’ve shown that we’re capable of the kind of performance needed to get a win in a game of this magnitude.

The biggest concerns around the side seem to stem from the midfield and defence. Sami Khedira doesn’t seem to have the legs to carry us through from start to finish and his tendency to drift in and out of games has a detrimental impact on Miralem Pjanic. There’s a suggestion that Max Allegri will switch to 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 for this one, with Blaise Matuidi entering the mix to give us more bite in midfield. The mister suggested as much in his pre-game presser:

“Tomorrow the tactical system will depend on how we move in defence and attack…[against Sampdoria] Khedira made too many runs forward when we went a goal behind and he left Miralem Pjanic isolated. Tomorrow I must decide whether to play Mario Mandzukic, Blaise Matuidi or Douglas Costa. Federico Bernardeschi is injured, Dybala will start tomorrow.”

At this stage, we need a top performance from Dybala as he has dipped in and out of form since that stellar start to the season. In the opening games of the new campaign, he was deciding matches himself, seemingly taking on a new level responsibility within the team but a string of poor displays and some strange comments in an interview with France Football may cast a few doubts on where his head is at right now.

The lineup should really write itself but players like Daniele Rugani, Claudio Marchisio and Douglas Costa look set to be omitted from the starting XI yet again. Gigi Buffon was rested against Sampdoria so he will return in goal with Mattia De Sciglio, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro in front of him. Pjanic, Khedira and Matuidi will make up with the midfield with Juan Cuadrado, Gonzalo Higuain and Dybala leading the attack.

 

Probable lineup:

4-3-3: Buffon; De Sciglio, Barzagli, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Cuadrado, Dybala, Higuain.

Injured players:

Bernardeschi (muscle), Pjaca (Returning to match fitness)

Suspended Players:

None

 

 

Barcelona

Probable lineup:

4-3-3: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Alcacer

Injured players:

Rafinha, Dembele, Mascherano, Roberto

Suspended players:

 None

 

Formation

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  • ho Hi

    wtf barzagli? this is so ridiculous,take finally Höwedes or Rugani,boys we will lose so much tonight…………….

  • B1anconer0

    I would like to see hőwedes instead of barzagli, marchisio instead of khedira and bernardeschi instead of cuadrado. Now that would be a great line-up!

  • Mixalis Neskis

    Chiellini has a muscle injury and will not be playing this one! Benatia is the favourite for his place!
    I thought this would be a difficult night, but with Chiellini out, I hope it doesn’t turn into a disaster!

  • E.Micallef

    Another dreadful performance. If we continue to play 11 behind the ball we cannot play football.
    It is nearly impossible for Pjanic to find two men in front of him when he gets the ball. Same with everyone else.
    Truth be said if we see all the games in champions this year we did not make a whole 90 of decent football.
    I think I’ll pray for a change next season. I’m tired of seeing JUVE play this way. We are better than this.
    I will thank Allegri with all my heart for his work mind.
    Have a good night my dear friends

  • Jas

    The only thing we can except from this team is a champions league qualification. I’m sorry but khedira has to go, the best days are behind him. Barca wasn’t even trying today.

    • E.Micallef

      Exactly that was my same sensation. They did not even try.

      • Jas

        There is no creativity in this team, pjanic needs help but he isn’t iniesta or Messi. Honestly the whole time I keep thinking Barca is just playing to end the clock. Our midfield is average, Costa isn’t a midfielder neither is dybala.

        • E.Micallef

          My thoughts…. Those are CF and LW. We both know what that means. That means they must stick to their defenders in order when we get the ball we have options. Not every fuc…. Single time we just clear the ball or go back. It’s frustrating for the players and for us to watch.