PREVIEW: FC Barcelona v Juventus

PREVIEW: FC Barcelona v Juventus

The Catalans head into the final match of this season’s Champions League group stage looking to ensure top spot and a perfect six wins from six games

Barça host Serie A giants, Juventus, safe in the knowledge that they’ve already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League. However, there is still top spot to play for and the chance to end the group stage by winning all six games for the first time since 2002.  

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Did you know?

Juventus’ only away victory against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League came back in April 2003 (2-1), having failed to win either of their two trips there in the competition since: 0-0 in 2016-17 and 0-3 in 2017-18.

Juventus haven’t scored in any of their last four meetings with FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L2). Since Giorgio Chiellini’s goal in a 3-0 win in April 2017, they have gone 395 minutes of play without scoring against the Spanish side in the competition.

FC Barcelona have won more final group stage games in the Champions League (incl. 2nd group stage) than any other side in the competition, with the Spanish side winning 19 of their 27 such games.

Juventus have won nine of their last 10 UEFA Champions League group stage matches (L1) – the one game they failed to win was against FC Barcelona in the reverse fixture on MD2 this season.

FC Barcelona have won all five of their group stages matches this season and could record the eighth instance of a side winning 6/6 games in a single group stage in the Champions League. FC Barcelona themselves account for one of the previous seven instances, back in 2002-03 under Louis van Gaal (1st group stage in that case).

Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in his last 20 appearances versus FC Barcelona in all competitions, including netting in two of his last three games against them while with Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite has scored in both of his UEFA Champions League starts for the club – the only player to score in each of his first three starts for Barcelona in the competition is Gabri in 1999-2000.

Cristiano Ronaldo has played more UEFA Champions League games without scoring against FC Barcelona (5) than he has versus any other side.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have previously met in five UEFA Champions League encounters, with Lionel Messi 3-0 up on Ronaldo in goals. This game will be the first time that they’ve faced each other in the competition since the May 2011 semi-final between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Current Form

Since the last time the two teams met, Juventus have won all three of their Champions League matches (1-4 and 2-1 v Ferencváros, and 3-0 v Dynamo Kyiv).

In Serie A, they have won two (2-0 v Cagliari and 2-1 v Torino) and drawn two (1-1 v Lazio and 1-1 v Benevento).

Barça still have a perfect record in the premier European competition, having beaten Dynamo Kyiv twice (2-1 and 0-4) and Ferencváros (0-4) since the last time they faced the ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football.

In LaLiga, Barça have won two (5-2 v Betis and 4-0 v Osasuna), drawn one (1-1 v Alavés) and lost two (1-0 v Atlético Madrid and 2-1 v Cádiz) of their last five.

Record v Juventus

In total, Barça and Juve have met 10 times in the Champions League so far, and at various stages of the competition. To this point, the balance is four wins for the blaugranes, two wins for the bianconeri and four draws:

1985/86 Quarter-finals
Barça 1-0 Juventus
Juventus 1-1 Barça

2002/03 Quarter-finals
Juventus 1-1 Barça
Barça 1-2 Juventus

2014/15 Final
Juventus 1-3 Barça

2016/17 Quarter-finals
Juventus 3-0 Barça
Barça 0-0 Juventus

2017/18 Matchday 1
Barça 3-0 Juventus

2017/18 Matchday 5
Juventus 0-0 Barça

2020/21 Matchday 2
Juventus 0 Barça 2

The Squad

Ronald Koeman named his squad for the final Champions League group stage game on the morning of the match, including the following players: Ter Stegen, Dest, R. Araujo, Sergio, Aleñá, Griezmann, Pjanic, Braithwaite, Messi, Riqui Puig, Neto, Coutinho, Lenglet, Pedri, Trincao, Jordi Alba, Matheus, F. De Jong, Umtiti, Junior, Iñaki Peña, O. Mingueza and Konrad. Out through injury are Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati and Dembélé. 

Koeman said

“Our objective is to play well and win each game. We won 2-0 away at their ground and took all three points so for that reason we have a great chance of finishing first in the group." 

"We are missing important players. We will have to look to do the best we can, both technically and tactically, as well as being fresh. Against Juventus we will put out a strong side because we want to finish first in the group." 

“In our attack, Leo is very important. A lot of attacking play comes from him. He is the best in the world and I don't think he has made many mistakes defending. It is the work of the whole team to be more aggressive in defence and to be more effective." 

"It's great that Messi and Cristiano are at the top level. They have had a lot of success over the last few years. They are two different players but they have amazing scoring records. They are both players to admire." 

Força Barça
Força Barça

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