Match Preview Champions League

Juventus v Sporting Lisbon Match Preview

October 18, 2017 - 5:06 pm


 Juventus v Sporting Lisbon

Champions League | Group D | Game 3 – Wednesday, 18th October – 19:45 GMT – Juventus Stadium



The defeat to Lazio at the weekend was all too sobering – Something needs to change, and soon. Of course, it’s early in the season and there’s no need for panic or overreaction just yet, but the performance was lacking in many areas. We have a side full of great characters, all with their own unique and individual talents, and yet we concede all too frequently and struggle to break down sides who have numbers and discipline in midfield, perfectly illustrated by Lazio’s Sergej Milinković-Savić who played a great game against us. The 4-3-3 might have been the best that we could hope to field in the hopes that we didn’t get outnumbered and overrun, and yet that’s exactly what happened for periods of the game.

Despite the morose feeling that seems to be hovering in the air, Allegri has insisted that things are good in the Juve camp and that we need to move on from the loss, rather than dwell on the poor display. Speaking in his pre-game presser, he paid respect to Sporting and their coach and warned against complacency:

“The atmosphere is good. We have to regain the balance. We can’t get depressed, because we drew in Bergamo and we lost at home to Lazio – losing and drawing happens.

“In football there are times when things go well and times where they go less well, moments where you have good opponents and moments where the opponents aren’t as good.

“It’s normal that we have to work on the mistakes we’ve made, but the mistakes were only in attention and game management, as happened in eight minutes against Lazio.

“Juventus have had a good start to the season. At the moment the ones who have done something important are Napoli, because they’ve won all eight games so at the moment we can say that the season is theirs.

“It’s a very long season, it will be a beautiful and exciting one because the fixture list is beautiful, there will be three head-to-head games right at the end, so there will be great suspense and it’ll be very entertaining.

“I’m already thinking about when we get to March and there are the last five rounds – the pressure, preparing the matches… that will be a very fun period.

“Right now the important thing is tomorrow, tomorrow is a complicated game against a team that defends very well, with an experienced Coach [Jorge Jesus] who is good at preparing these games.

“They actually played a very good game against Barcelona. So we’ll need a lot of patience and the right mentality, knowing we have a great chance to go through in these two games.

“If not we’ll have to score points against Barcelona and over in Greece. It’s 180 minutes, two games, and we’re ready.

“As we saw on Saturday with what happened in those eight minutes, anything can happen in football and that’s what makes it great.

The mister only offered a few hints as to the starting XI, but with the injuries and recent returnees to the squad, it seems to write itself. Gigi Buffon will almost certainly start in goal with one of either Andrea Barzagli or Stefano Sturaro starting at right-back. Given the need for energy and pace to cover Sporting’s wingers, i would think the younger man will get the nod. At the back it seems unlikely that Daniele Rugani will start a match of this importance, so i expect we’ll see Giorgio Chiellini and Medhi Benatia at centre-back and Alex Sandro on the left. Blaise Matuidi will probably be rested having played 5 games in a row, and with Sami Khedira back from injury along with Miralem Pjanic, they’re almost certain to make up the midfield pivot with Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic playing behind Gonzalo Higuain.


Probable lineup:

4-2-3-1: Buffon; Sturaro, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain.

Injured players:

Marchisio (knee), De Sciglio (ankle), Pjaca (knee), Howedes (hamstring)

Suspended Players:




Sporting Lisbon

Probable lineup:

4-2-3-1: Kapino; Elabdellaoui, Romao, Engels, Figueiras; Gillet, Odjidja-Ofoe; Carcela-González, Fortounis, Marin; Emenike

Injured players:

Vukovic, Botía

Suspended players:





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  • Avatar
    Xx RForcE xX October 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Benatia , Sturaro, Khedira ,Cuadrado 4 shits in starting IX?plus fat ass Higuain omg, maybe it is time for Allegri to go….and he can take these 5 with him.

    • Avatar
      ho Hi October 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Yes mate,this Juve is shit

      • Avatar
        Dar Black October 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        But weirdly it’s not that different to the last Juve! Except for Leo. I think we starting to see what he took with him to Milan. Team and individuals look deflated, lost almost.

        • Avatar
          Xx RForcE xX October 18, 2017 at 10:05 pm

          when you have sturaro and benatia as a rb&cb you cant expect any miracles, plus slow&off form Khedira.

          • Avatar
            Dar Black October 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm

            You are talking to the flag waving campaign manager for the ‘get shot of Sami’ brigade! I don’t see him as anything other than a slightly better than good midfielder, but ONLY when he can be bothered to show up. Which is increasingly less often it seems from his performances.

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 October 18, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Get your shit together Juve !! Ffs! Also Unbelievable that lichtsteiner wasn’t called up and why is khedira playing instead of matuidi??

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 October 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Sturaro offers nothing absolutely nothing in attack and passing. Cuadrado needs to get subbed

  • Avatar
    Dar Black October 18, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Super Mario!!!!! Thank god for MM.

  • Avatar
    Juventino Persa October 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Seeing Sturaro playing football is a torture! He should not be allowed to enter any football stadium!!! Juventus of Capello had many stars, but that Zebina playing as full back would give me a cancer! Now seeing Sturaro make me think of Zebina as a decent player! The only one making me more angry than Sturaro is Allegri’s stupid line up! No Rugani, no Matuidi and late subs!

    • Avatar
      B1anconer0 October 18, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      It’s better to play cuadrado as rb for the other champions league games. Sturaro only did one thing whenever he had the ball today and that was shooting it away, towards absolutely nobody!

  • Avatar
    RequiemForTheUnderdog October 19, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Why is Cuadrado playing instead of Bernardeschi?
    Why is Sturaro playing instead of Barzagli?
    Why is Higuain our main striker and not Mandzukic?
    Why is Costa not a starter?

    how about we just sell Higuain in January while he is still worth something.

  • Avatar
    Sebastián Quiceno October 19, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Chiello played a superb game, sharp, savvy, strong, attentive, timely, authoritative, compromised. Extinguished by himself a few fires others created. All those qualities were evident. Mandzu and Matuidi the next in podium. It showed he knows what was at stake on this game.