Barcelona will have a real chance to get back at Juventus following their last season’s Champions League elimination as they open their respective campaigns with a face-off. Juventus were clearly the better side last season against Barcelona’s shambolic defence.
Both the clubs have had some major changes in their squads since then. While Neymar’s departure to Paris-Saint Germain was the biggest surprise of the summer, Leonardo Bonucci moving to AC Milan wasn’t as less of a shocker. Both the sides have started their domestic campaigns with three wins on the trot.
Barcelona- Barcelona will have an almost fully fit squad at their disposal as new manager Ernesto Valverde faces his first real test with the Catalans. He will be without Arda Turan from the midfield, who has suffered a hamstring of late, but it shouldn’t bother the boss anyway as the Turk hasn’t featured in his plans so far.
Positive news would be the return of Rafinha and Sergi Roberto to training from meniscus and knee injury respectively, although it would be difficult for them to take part in the game so early.
Juventus- Massimo Allegri could see many of his first team players miss out on their trip to Nou Camp. Georgi Chiellini has just returned to training and is unlikely to be available for the game at least not in the first eleven. Medhi Benatia and Daniele Rugani have held the mast well and Allegri should bank on them. Juan Cuadradremainsin suspended.
Mario Mandzukic has endured a slight calf injury in Juventus’ last game against Chievo Verona and faces uncertainty. The absence of left back Alex Sandro will be a big blow, who is currently recovering from a flu. Another huge miss will be the absence of the experienced Sami Khedira with a knee injury, while Claudio Marchisio still recovers from his knee injury.
Barcelona- Ter Stegen; Alba, Umtiti, Pique, Semedo; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Dembele, Suarez, Messi
Juventus- Buffon; Asamoah, Benatia, Rugani, Sciglio; Pjanic, Sturaro, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Dybala
Barcelona- Of course, the front trio of Ousmane Dembele, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez would be the biggest threat for Juventus. The absence of Sandro could be a huge void for Allegri as Asamoah can be out of favour against the Argentine.
Juventus- Juventus definitely has a stronger midfield that Barcelona if they can control it right. Even without Marchisio and Khedira, the likes of Pjanic and Matuidi could create chaos with Paulo Dybala looking to increase his tally against the Spanish side.
Barcelona @ 8/11
Draw @ 3/1
Juventus @ 4/1
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