Juventus and Barcelona will be aiming to continue their perfect starts in the UEFA Champions League as they go head to head in Turin on Wednesday evening.
Neither the Old Lady nor the Catalans have been particularly convincing domestically as of yet sitting fifth and 12th in Serie A and La Liga respectively but kicked off their latest European campaigns perfectly. Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus overcame Dynamo Kiev 2-0 thanks to two goals from Alvaro Morata, whilst Ronald Koeman’s men thumped Ferencvaros 5-1 at the Nou Camp.
The two sides come into the game having played each other 13 times competitively in the past. It is the Spaniards who have just had the better of those meetings, winning five and losing four, with four draws. That includes the last time that the two met – a 0-0 draw in November 2017. As it stands, it is the Spaniards who are more fancied to win again at a price of 8/5 with William Hill, whilst Juventus sit at 17/10. A draw can be backed at a price of 12/5.
If the more recent clashes between the two sides indicate anything, it is the fact that Juventus might find it tough to find the net. In three out of the last four meetings with Barcelona, the Old Lady have not scored. Considering Barcelona head to Turin looking to secure top spot in the Group even further, that would represent a wonderful result for the Catalans. Barcelona to win to nil this time around is at a price of 7/2 with Paddy Power.
If they are to do that though, they certainly need to keep one man quiet. Throughout his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has only scored more goals against Atletico Madrid than Barcelona but intriguingly the Portuguese has never scored against them in Champions League action. Should he return a negative COVID-19 test prior to the match having previously tested positive, he could be an interesting bet at 11/4 with Betfred to net the opener.
His absence could definitely be felt though, especially with the worries that Pirlo is already contending with. Centre-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt are ruled out, with Alex Sandro also restricted to the sidelines.
The story is not that much better for Barcelona. Gerard Pique is suspended following his red card against Ferencvaros, whilst Samuel Umtiti is not yet fit enough to play. Elsewhere, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is still out, allowing Neto to continue between the sticks. The final casualty is Philippe Coutinho who is out with a hamstring injury. Having scored five goals in his first six games of the season, Ansu Fati will surely be selected from the start again and is available at 9/2 to continue his good form with the first goal of the game.