Juventus vs Barcelona preview

April 10, 2017
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Image: Reuters / Dylan Martinez

The 2014/2015 finalists Juventus and Barcelona square off in the quarter-finals of this year’s competition, with the Bianconeri getting an opportunity to exact revenge on the Catalans.

It is perfectly clear that the La Liga side are under pressure following yet another setback in the league, and this is something the hosts will attempt to exploit.

Seeing as how they are on track to make it six Serie A trophies in a row, it is hardly surprising that the team now crave Champions League success.

The Bianconeri came close to lifting the coveted trophy two years ago, when they were stopped by none other than Barcelona, suffering a 3-1 loss in the final.

Both squads have since undergone major changes, and it would appear as though Juventus now have a better chance of upsetting the Catalans.

The Bianconeri boss Max Allegri was able to rest his starters in last few games, meaning his side should be in very good shape when facing the Catalans.

Juventus have been made 2.63 (13/8) favourites to win the first leg and make it 16 victories in a row at their Juventus Arena.

Max Allegri should welcome back Mario Mandzukic from a knee problem, but his compatriot Marko Pjaca has been ruled out for the season.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Buffon – Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro – Marchisio, Khedira – Cuadrado, Pjanic, Dybala – Higuain.

Barcelona have now missed yet another opportunity to close the gap behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, and it would appear as though the title chase is now los.

The Catalans succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at La Rosaleda, suffering yet another setback against a bottom-table side and it is the poor record against those smaller sides that has cost them dearly this term.

With Real Madrid now three points clear with a game in hand, Barcelona have no choice but to focus on the Champions League campaign, but they face a tough task against rock-solid Juventus.

The Catalans will need to show a great deal of character after the 2-0 loss to Malaga, especially since there are some selection worries as well.

Namely, Sergio Busquets misses out through suspension, whereas Rafinha Alcantara is not part of the squad due to injury.

Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal have traveled with the squad, but they will not play any part in the Champions League clash against Juventus.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): ter Stegen – Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba – Iniesta, Mascherano, Rakitic – Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

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