Club Features

Is the Champions League a priority for Juventus this season?

September 16, 2016 - 4:18 pm

Juventus were held to a goalless draw in their Champions League opener against Sevilla on September 14th and Massimiliano Allegri’s men will need to improve if they are to win the group ahead of the knockout stages.

Whilst the Italian side dominated possession and created more clear-cut chances than their opponents, they failed to make the all-important breakthrough and last season’s Europa League winners Sevilla held on for a crucial point in their bid to win Group H.

In truth, Juve are still trying to adapt to life without iconic central midfielder Paul Pogba. The France international, who moved to Juventus in 2012, re-joined Manchester United for a world record fee of £89 million this summer – and the club will need time to adjust to their new set-up.

Pogba will be sorely missed but Allegri acted quickly to dip into the transfer market in a bid to add depth and quality in key areas. The Old Lady were able to steal Miralem Pjanic from AS Roma whilst fellow midfielder Luca Marrone joined from Hellas Verona. Throw Gonzalo Higuain and Dani Alves into the mix and you could claim that Juventus should be stronger than they were at this point last season.

 

But can Allegri lead Juve to their first Champions League triumph since 1996? Well, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. To be completely honest; Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are still streets ahead of everybody else and it is difficult to imagine one of these clubs missing out on Europe’s elite club competition this year. However, it would be foolish to dismiss Juventus completely – they have an exceptional squad.

Despite their strength in depth, the Italian title HAS to remain Juve’s number one priority this season. Allegri is a clever man; he has been there and done it all and the 49-year-old knows that his side may need another year or two until they can challenge for Champions League glory.

Yes, they reached the final of the competition in 2015 but they were well beaten by a superb Barcelona team – and Juventus should focus on winning their sixth consecutive league title before attempting to compete in Europe.

As of September 15th, Juventus are 3/10 in bet365’s early Serie A betting odds and it would take a brave man to back against the defending champions on current form. They should take the Champions League seriously of course but holding off the likes of Roma, Napoli and Inter Milan is crucial to Juve’s dominance.

Allegri is currently leading Juventus through a dynasty era and fans will expect domestic success for the next three or four years at the very least. A Champions league challenge is on the horizon but for now, the Serie A crown is Allegri’s number one objective for the campaign.

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    BelgianJuventino September 16, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I dont really get this article mate! Is the CL a priority? Of course it is! And of course Serie A is one too. One doesnt exclude the other. The Scudetto is probably the top priority, since it is a very realistic target that would also be a historical record: nobody ever won 6 Scudetti on the trot.

    CL is a gamble even for Barcelona and Bayern, with luck and momentum just as important as the quality of the team. Juve has its chances to win it, though it might not be this year just yet. I do still preach patience, the season is still very early to make any conclusions.

    I dont mean to attack the article, I just dont really grasp the message it is supposed to send! I assume you mean to say we shouldnt see a CL trophy as an evidence and should keep in mind the Scudetto is the primary target, but I could misunderstand?

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      RAC September 16, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      I think it is about time we defuse the champions league expectations. I’ll start by saying that once all the chips have fallen in place and our squad is settled in later in the season, we absolutely will have the same quality as any other team in europe, and more tactical flexibility. I would play marchisio, khedira and pjanic against any midfield in the world. Add to that the possibility of a quality shield for the defense in lemina and the possibility of cuadrado and pjaca on the wings, not to mention the addition of one of the very best 9’s in the world and we have a team that can find solutions against any squad (no need to even mention our wealth of talent at the back). HOWEVER, the champions league is decided by luck rather than consistency and is thus a misguided “priority” for any team. You can aim to win one champions league, say, in the next 3-5 years if you have the right things going for you. But shooting for one in one season is statistically ridiculous. If the champions league worked that way, bayern would have 15 titles instead of 5, and real madrid would have won every edition since 2000. Juventus has to focus on achieving consistent results and cultivating a team which may ultimately culminate in that elusive third champions league trophy, but we are nowhere near that point right now. Serie A should absolutely be our priority, as this will likely be our only opportunity at 6 straight scudettos, and our continued success in italy is the greatest contributor to our growth in the champions league these past seasons. Sending a “statement” to the world by shutting out sevilla or dinamo 4-0 will not help us achieve our endgoal. Building our team game by game will. I think the point of the article is that we are overexcited about the here and now, when we have so much more to build towards in the future.

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        BelgianJuventino September 17, 2016 at 7:17 am

        Yes, that is what I assume as well. We have a fine team, capable of challenging anyone, once we are a bit more settled with the new players.

        That is what I meant, a CL win is a normal objective, but you cant just expect to win it. Nobody can, no matter which team.

        The stronger we are in Serie A, the more we can focus our strength on doing well in Europe too. People seem to forget a lot of positives from recent seasons. We beat City twice, we beat Real Madrid twice, we have beaten Chelsea, Dortmund, Celtic, Monaco.. Only Bayern and Barcelona have truly beaten us. The shambolic Galatasaray match is hardly meaningful in my eyes.

        Step by step we can conquer the CL, it might be this year, it might be later.

        All we really can expect is to top our group, or at least second spot. We are still Juve and should target a bare minimum. In this group, we really should be top of the pack. I think it is fair to say we need to make it to quarter finals.

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    ho Hi September 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    The only teams who really deserves the trophy with dumbo ears are Atletico and Juve.

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    mass19 September 18, 2016 at 12:37 am

    winning UCL can’t be the objective, because there are so many uncontrollable factors in the competition. However, getting knocked out by a team not named Bayern or Barcelona would be a failure.

    We have already achieved absolute domestic dominance, and we’re not losing it anytime soon. Our European target should be to make it to the Semi-finals consistently.

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    ho Hi September 20, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    consistently!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1