Two giants of the game collide when Juventus host Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday at 8pm (UK time).
The Old Lady have been steady yet unspectacular under Andrea Pirlo so far this season, going unbeaten in their opening five Serie A games but winning just two of them, most recently labouring to a 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona.
But Juventus will carry a certain amount of confidence into their tie with Barcelona having kicked off their continental campaign with a 2-0 win away at Dynamo Kyiv, while also safe in the knowledge that Ronald Koeman’s side will still be reeling from their 3-1 El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid at the weekend.
The Blaugrana are showing little sign of emerging from the slump they’ve endured over the past 18 months having already lost two of their opening five La Liga games, leaving them stuck down in 12th place with seven points. Barcelona did, however, make an emphatic start to their Champions League campaign with a 5-1 win at home to Hungarian champions, Ferencvaros.
Even with both sides in a state of flux, this has all the ingredients to be the tie of the group stage this season.
Where to watch Juventus vs Barcelona on TV:
- UK: Bt Sport 3
- US: TUDN
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Where to live stream Juventus vs Barcelona:
US ONLY: Fubo* will be streaming Juventus vs Barcelona live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
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Juventus & Barcelona’s previous line-ups:
- Juventus (vs Hellas Verona): Szczesny; Demiral, Bonucci, Danilo; Cuadrado, Ramsey, Arthur, Rabiot, Bernardeschi; Dybala, Morata.
- Barcelona (vs Real Madrid): Neto; Dest, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong, Coutinho*; Fati, Messi.
Juventus will be without the injured trio of Matthias de Ligt, Alex Sandro and Giorgio Chiellini on Wednesday, leaving Pirlo rather short of options at the back. It is still not clear whether Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in this match, but the Old Lady are boosted by the return of Weston McKennie.
Philippe Coutinho has picked up a muscle injury and will be absent for Barcelona’s trip to Turin, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Samuel Umtiti are also sidelined. Gerard Pique is suspended after picking up a red card against Ferencvaros.
Players to watch:
- Juventus: In the absence of Ronaldo, much of the goalscoring burden for Juventus has been placed upon another former Real Madrid forward: Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard has struggled for consistency across his career but has started the 2020/21 campaign in great form, grabbing three goals and an assist across four Serie A and Champions League games combined, including a double in the Old Lady’s 2-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv last week. Morata has two goals and two assists against Barcelona across his career so far and will be keen to inflict more pain on the Blaugrana here, subsequently placing Juventus in control of Group G.
- Barcelona: Much of the pre-match focus will quite rightly be upon Lionel Messi heading into this Titanic clash. After all, the Argentine did register another goal and assist against Ferencvaros in Barca’s last Champions League game. However, the player who enters this match in the best form for Koeman is arguably Ansu Fati. The 17-year-old is maturing at a rapid rate and already this season, he’s netted five goals across six league and Champions League games combined, notching two assists along the way for good measure. Pirlo is being forced into some serious surgery on his injury-hit defence and as the one attacking player at Barcelona with genuine pace, Fati could be well-placed to take advantage.