A weak and dilapidated Barcelona side make the trip to Turin in Italy to square off against the mighty Juventus. The Italian giants have not been in the best of form either but Andrea Pirlo seems to have things under control.
Barcelona got hammered in the El Clasico a couple of nights ago and it seems an uphill task for Ronald Koeman & Co to return from their trip to Italy with all three points in the bag. The Clasico defeat has left Koeman with no option rather than fielding a full-strength squad.
The Cules will be without the services of Ter Stegen, Samuel Umititi and Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian midfielder featured in the fixture against Los Blancos. However, it is now understood that Coutinho has picked up a hamstring injury and will be ruled out for this match. Here’s how the Catalan side could take to the field against Juventus in their UEFA Champions League clash:
Neto is going to continue to take charge between the sticks in the absence of Ter Stegen. The goalie put up an impressive display when Barcelona played host to Real Madrid and made a handful of saves to keep Barcelona’s chances of staging a comeback alive. Summer arrival Dest will be starting at the right-back position after displaying his quality and control last time around.
Gerard Pique will be joined by Clement Lenglet in defence. The defensive duo were a let down against Real and Koeman will be expecting a more determined and focussed performance. Juventus’ Alvaro Morata unleashed his fury on Matchday 1 as he scored a brace and the defensive pairing of Lenglet and Pique will find it difficult to contain him. A rusty-looking Jordi Alba will start in the left-back slot despite not seeming fully match fit. It is expected that Alba would be taken off around the hour mark to make way for fresher and energetic legs.
Pjanic and Busquets are expected to start in the heart of Barcelona’s midfield. Pjanic will get a chance to play against his former employers after being left out of the El Clasico line-up altogether. Frenkie is expected to start on the left-hand side of the four-man midfield. The Dutchman has been an integral part of this set up under Ronald Koeman. Dembele could be handed out a rare place in the starting line-up with an injury to Philippe Coutinho. This four-man midfield looks balanced and it could pose a substantial threat to Juventus, who are yet to get running this season.
Ansu Fati will team up with his idol, Lionel Messi to take charge of the attack force. The two have been entrusted by Koeman upfront and the duo cannot disappoint in a fixture of this magnitude. Lionel Messi has seemed out of sorts this season following the entire summer transfer fiasco and it would be grave importance for the Camp Nou faithful that their beloved attacker returns to his very best days as soon as possible. Ansu, on the other hand, has evolved over the summer months into a more calm and composed figure upfront. The Spaniard has become an integral part of the Catalan side post the departure of Luis Suarez. More importantly, Ansu and Messi have developed a great understanding for each other’s game and that should reap the benefit eventually.
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