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Barcelona face Juventus in their first Champions league match of this season at the Camp Nou. The Italian champions got the better of the Catalan side in last year’s campaign when they beat Barcelona 3-0 over two legs. Paulo Dybala was spectacular in the first leg as he scored two gorgeous goals to put the game away from Barca’s grasp and a second half header from Chiellini sealed the deal. In the second leg, the Old Lady of Turin produced a defensive masterclass at the Camp Nou to progress into the semi final with a 3-0 aggregate.
Ernesto Valverde and his men would be looking for revenge against last year’s Champions league runners-up when they go head to head at Camp Nou. Barcelona will be going into the game with plenty of zest and confidence, having thumped local rivals Espanyol 5-0 in a spectacular fashion. Juve would be going into the match having beaten Chievo 3-0 in Serie A.
Let’s have a look at how Barcelona might line up against Juventus:
The young German keeper is Barca’s number 1 in the league and Champions League. Superb reflexes, composure on the ball and distribution with the ball makes him a perfect fit for Barcelona.
The Portuguese was a good purchase by the club this summer. He had a sensational game against Espanyol this weekend and Valverde will count on him to provide defensive security and attacking ideas on the right flank.
Pique scored a goal from a header this weekend against Espanyol and is a rock at the back along with his partner in crime, Umtiti.
The young French centre-back is looking good towards becoming Barca’s answer to Puyol’s departure and has established a good chemistry with Gerard Pique at the back.
The speed merchant is on a blistering run of form at the moment with an excellent display in this weekend’s encounter with Espanyol. With 2 assists in the game, Alba was a treat to watch on the left flank. Expect him to do the same against Juventus as well.
One of the best in the world in his position, Sergio is a tactical genius who knows what to do and exactly when to do. Busquets is Barca’s ticking clock, the rhythm-setter.
Rakitic was back to his brilliant best this weekend after a long period of poor form. Semedo’s arrival as the team’s right-back has certainly helped Rakitic, as he used to spend a lot of time covering Sergi Roberto in that position, despite being a central midfielder.
Club captain and showstopper, Andres Iniesta is the stuff of legend in Catalonia. Even at this age, Iniesta is irreplaceable.
Valverde used Messi as a False 9 in the previous game against Espanyol and the result was there for all to see. A hat-trick and an iconic performance from the talisman promises Barca of a sweet revenge against Juve.
Since Messi occupied the central role in the park, Suarez drifted towards the left flank which allowed him to cut in and get on the end of the chances created by Messi and co. Suarez has looked sluggish lately, but Valverde will expect him to change the outcome of the match at any moment, being the sharp shooter that he is in front of goal.
RM – Ousmane Dembele
Dembele might make his Champions League debut with Barca, against Juve. The star summer signing was on for 20 minutes against Espanyol and looked pretty sharp, producing an assist for Suarez.