Match Preview Champions League

Porto v Juventus Team News & Predicted XI for CL first-leg

February 17, 2021 - 2:30 pm

The Juventus squad has already touched down in Portugal ahead of their clash with Porto in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The Old Lady will be without two key players for their trip, but you would imagine that we have sufficient cover for their roles to be confident of a positive results.

Juan Cuadrado is on of those confirmed as missing, and will affect the way the team plays. Whether he is selected on the wing or at right-back, his energy and ability to get up and down the field is one that we will miss.

Leo Bonucci is being reported as injured also, and is expected to miss both the home and away legs.

Federico Chiesa could well be given the role, but I expect Pirlo will opt to play a little more reserved with both Alex Sandro and Danilo at full-back with less impetus on attack.

Arthur has also been left behind in Turin, and his position could go to a number of options, all of which offer different strengths which can be of help to the team.

It isn’t all doom-and-gloom however as we are able to welcome both Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala back to availability having missed our most recent fixtures.

Predicted Juve XI:

Szczesny
Danilo De Ligt Chiellini Sandro
McKennie Bentancur Rabiot Chiesa
Morata Ronaldo

While I wouldn’t be disappointed to see either Dybala or Kulusevski start the match, Morata’s form in the Champions League thus far has been amazing. Add that to the fact that Pirlo will not be expecting too many chances, I expect that he will opt for the Spaniard who is more likely to score with just one clear opportunity.

This line-up offers plenty in both the attacking and defensive phases, and while I would have expected Bonucci to line up alongside captain Chiellini, Leo is being reported as injured. The manager has shown recent preference for Demiral alongside De Ligt, or Bonucci alongside his experienced partner in Giorgio, so I could well be wrong in my prediction, but I believe Pirlo will want his captain on the field regardless.

What would your chosen line-up look like for the Porto clash? Should Pirlo go all-out for the win or should he be more cautious for the opening leg?

Patrick

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