World Football’s most elite competition i.e., Champions League has reached its final stage, as Juventus welcomes Barcelona to Turin. Two of Europe’s best teams will lock horns together in the Juventus stadium on Tuesday night. Here is everything that you need to know as Juventus host Barcelona in the 1st leg of the Q/F.
Barcelona advanced to the quarterfinals 6-5 on aggregate after a magical comeback against the formidable PSG side as the Catalan giants won 6-1 at Camp Nou. On the other hand, Juventus progressed to the next stage by defeating Portuguese giants 3-0 on aggregate. This two teams have met only once in the champions league before that was in the final of 2014/2015 champions league where the Spanish giants won.
Barcelona come into the match on the back of a defeat against the La Rosaleda outfit as Malaga defeated 10 men Barcelona by 2-0. This defeat was a huge dent for their hopes of the reigning the La Liga title, while the league leaders Juventus continue on their superb unbeaten run as they defeated Chievo Verona 2-0 on their home ground. Juventus sit 6 points clear at the top of the table as they are the favourites to retain the Serie A title.
Juventus team and its players are very positively pumped up for the champions league tie against Barcelona as the Serie A outfit are in the form of their life. Juventus forward and Argentine international Paulo Dybala has also warned Barcelona ahead of the quarterfinal clash that his side are in the best spell of the season.
Though the Serie A outfit lost 3-1 in Berlin in the champions league final two years ago where both teams met for the first time in the European competition, but now Juventus are totally in a good shape as they are on an unbeaten run of 21 matches on home soil and have also won 32 league matches without a defeat at the Juventus stadium.
The old lady is surely out for revenge against the Catalan giants and they do seem very confident about achieving the result in their favour. Juventus arguably have the best defence in the Europe. And it is the only defence currently that can take the Barca front three, popularly known as “MSN” i.e., Messi, Suarez, and Neymar out of the game. Gianluigi Buffon who celebrated his 1000th professional appearance has managed to keep a staggering 430 clean sheets in his career. Buffon and the back three “BBC” i.e, Andrea Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini know each other inside out and have played together for six years now, they all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses also.
Barcelona will be missing their midfield maestro Sergio Busquets due to suspension while Adra Turan, Aleix Vidal and Rafinha are all to miss the match due to injury.
Juventus will be very much dependent on its strikers when they meet Barcelona in the quarterfinal, especially on Gonzalo Higuain, the most expensive player in Serie A, whom they bought for 90 million euros in the summer transfer window.
If Barcelona are to progress into the next round of the champions league, they have to defeat Juventus. The away goal will have a huge impact on both the fixtures. Barcelona will be eyeing their front three “MSN” to defeat the Serie A outfit and Barca cannot afford for them to misfire. Lionel Messi has already scored 11 goals in this year’s champions league and it’s his best tally since the 2011/2012 campaign.
This battle is going to be one of the most exciting ties in recent memory. Only time will tell whether or not the Juventus defence will be able to contain Barcelona’s deadly Trio“MSN” . In a classic battle of attack vs defence, the Catalan giants will need to find a way to break the best defence in Europe.