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Preview: Juventus – FC Barcelona

Juventus will host FC Barcelona in tomorrow’s first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals

Written by Christian Møller Poulsen. April 10, 2017

Juventus and FC Barcelona were before the tournament considered amongst the favorites to lift the trophy with the round ears this season. Now they will face off, and Juventus will be looking to get their payback from the 2015 Champions League final which Barcelona won 3-1.

The first game will be played in Juventus Stadium, where the Italians hold a stunning record in Champions League as they haven’t lost a Champions League game at home since April 2013, when Bayern München won 0-2.

The Italians look very solid, and might even be a better team than they were in the final two years ago. The team is extremely well-organized, and at the same time they possess dangerous attacking threats, with Dybala and Higuain looking to make life difficult for the Catalans.

The Barca defense on the other hand, haven’t been looking very stable this season, which was shown again in the weekend’s 2-0 loss to Malaga, but also the 4-0 loss in Paris revealed how weak the defensive line is in the Barcelona team.

Luis Enrique will have some worries ahead of this game, and especially as he has to do without suspended Sergio Busquets, who usually proves to be the defensive anchor of the team.

The attacking trio however looks to be in great form, with especially Neymar who has been improving since the winter break. Messi is as always lethal, and he is currently the European top scorer, with Suarez also showing great display. Andres Iniesta has been struggling with two serious knee injuries this season, and his performances has taken a knock. However, he has been playing better in the recent weeks. For Barcelona to get points in this game, they will definitely need their four best players to show off from their best side, as they will be hoping to get an important away goal.

 

Predicted line-ups:

Juventus (4-2-3-1):
Gianluigi Buffon
Dani Alves, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro
Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic
Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic
Gonzalo Higuaín

FC Barcelona (4-3-3):
Marc-André Ter Stegen
Sergi Roberto, Gerard Piqué, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba
Ivan Rakitić, Javier Mascherano, Andrés Iniesta
Lionel Messi, Luís Suárez, Neymar

The game will be played at Juventus Stadium at 20:45 CET, and the referee is set to be Szymon Marciniak, who was also the referee in the PSG – Barcelona game that ended 4-0 to PSG.