Champions League preview: Juventus v FC Barcelona

Champions League preview: Juventus v FC Barcelona

The Catalans' quest for European glory takes them back to the stadium where it all went wrong last season (8.45pm CET), where a draw would be enough to secure a place in the knockout rounds - and as group winners!

More than comfortably poised in La Liga, FC Barcelona’s attention now switches back to the Champions League, where they are also unbeaten ahead of this visit to the Juventus Stadium (Wednesday 8.45pm CET), where a draw would be enough to secure a place in the last sixteen, and as group winners.

Even if Barça don’t get the result they need, they still have another game, at home to Sporting Lisbon on December 5, to get the job done.

Team news

Six of the blaugrana squad are side-lined through injury: Ousmane Dembélé, Rafinha, Arda Turan, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Javier Mascherano.

Nineteen players have made the trip to Italy, although one of the names will have to be struck off the list prior to kick-off. The travelling party is as follows: Marc-André Ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen, Adrià Ortolá (31), Nélson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Denis Suárez, Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Leo Messi, Paulinho, Gerard Deulofeu, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Lucas Digne, Aleix Vidal, Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen.

With Miralem Pjanić now back in action, Juventus seem to have no major injury concerns and should be able to field a full-strength team.

Coaches’ verdicts

Speaking ahead of the game, Barça boss Ernesto Valverde said: “We expect Juventus to be at their best. They are very strong at home and have some quality players up front. They are the top goalscorers in their league and need a win tomorrow.”

"I don’t consider us to be favourites. It’ll be a tight match and I honestly don’t think there’s a clear favourite … Of course I’ve looked at last year’s loss. Not only now, but also before the game we played in New York. Now again in the Champions League, so I’m getting a bit bored of watching that video!”

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri showed himself to be well aware of the danger posed by a certain Barça player in his pre-game press conference: “Of course, we have to be aware of Messi tomorrow night who is an exceptional player. Even if there are just 10 centimetres of space, he will take the ball into places no other players would even think of trying. He is a difficult player to stop.”

Form guide

With three wins and a draw so far, and just one goal conceded, it would be a huge surprise if Barça don’t progress to the knockout stage.

Despite 3-0 defeat at the Camp Nou, Juve are also in a strong position. A win on Wednesday would see them through, and even if they lose, they would still qualify with a win at Olympiakos on the final day.

But domestically, their quest for an extraordinary seventh Serie A title in a row is not going entirely to plan. Defeat to Sampdoria at the weekend means they dropped to third behind Napoli and Inter.


This is one of Europe’s classic ties, although the two freshest meetings in the mind are the 2015 final in Berlin, which the Catalans won 3-1, and last season’s quarter final, which saw the Italians progress 3-0 on aggregate.

Barça are still looking for their first win away to Juventus in UEFA competitions. Their five previous attempts have ended in three losses and two draws.


A Champions League game as big as this one should be fairly easy to find on a TV near you, but if you are out of luck or cannot get to a screen, then why not listen to our live English language commentary on Radio Barça? The link will appear on the home page a few minutes before kick-off. Failing that, our official Twitter feed is the best place to go for regular updates on all the action as it happens in Turin.

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