The first matchup between Juventus and Barcelona, in Group D was a revenge dish served cold by the Catalans. In last season’s Champions League Quater-Finals, the two sides met under more significant stakes. The Italian side provided the perfect vault that Barcelona could not crack – despite having the world’s deadliest frontline in Messi, Suarez & Neymar. Juventus won that tie 3-0 on aggregate, which helped propel them to the final.
However, their rematch back in September saw Barcelona exercise their revenge, winning 3-0 at the Camp Nou. Now both sides meet again, this time in Turin, where the Catalan club could cement themselves as winners of the group with a win. Juventus will want to channel their defensive display of last year’s Champions League campaign to keep out the leaders of La Liga.
Failure to win will leave their chances of qualifying to the knockout stage in limbo, especially if Sporting CP overcome Olympiakos. A loss for Juve, and a win for Sporting means that both sides head into the final group game joined at the hip with seven points a piece.
Juventus lost 3-2 at the weekend to Sampdoria, but the one positive of that game saw Paulo Dybala end his three-game scoring drought. Despite taking a small hiatus from scoring, the Argentine now sits on 12 Serie A goals in 13 appearances. With Gonzolo Higuain enjoying a recent goal glut of six goals in five appearances, Juventus will have the artillery necessary to cause their visitiors discomfort.
Gianluigi Buffon returns to the squad after being rested at the weekend, but Juventus will be without Juan Cuadrado and Marko Pjaca who are both sidelined with injuries.
Despite Javier Mascherano missing Wednesday’s game, Barcelona centre back, Gerard Pique returns to the squad after missing the Olympiakos game through suspension, which will help steel the Catalans’ impervious defence. The Spanish side have only conceded one goal so far in this year’s competition.
Barcelona have won three, drawn two, and lost two of their seven previous meetings with Juventus. Whereas, Juventus have scored in every competitive home game so far this season, a home record that dates back to September 2016.