Two European giants clash in Champions League encounter
Why are they meeting so early?
Usually, the elite clubs in Europe avoid each other, however the new format used by UEFA when determining the Champions League group has meant that these two giants were drawn in the same group.
The new rules dictate that the top seeds are decided by whoever are champions in respective countries. Juventus, as Italy’s number one team, went in as a top seed. Meanwhile, Barcelona came second to Real Madrid in La Liga last year and were therefore put in the second category. That resulted in the pair landing in the group and it means one team will face a much tougher task should they progress.
The previous meeting
The game in Turin will be the second match after Barcelona triumphed 3-0 at the Nou Camp back in September. As you can imagine, it was a Lionel Messi inspired performance, with the magical Argentine scoring twice.
Victory was important for Barcelona, given the high-profile departure of Neymar who left the club two weeks before. It had added significance as Juventus had knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League the season before, with a convincing 3-0 win over two legs. This was proof to the Barcelona fans that they could still match it with the best teams in Europe and that they could cope without Neymar.
How are they performing?
Barcelona have been in fine form since that day, with Messi the chief reason for that. He is the top scorer in La Liga and the reason why the Catalan club are top. Juventus, on the other hand, had struggled early on. They failed to convince and surprisingly dropped Serie ‘A’ points to teams you would expect them to beat. However, a stunning 6-2 win at Udinese, where they won 4-1 with 10 men, displayed signs of the Juventus of old and they are looking very ruthless once again.
What can we expect?
After their loss at the Nou Camp in the first game of the group, this game is a lot more important to Juventus. Given the heavy defeat in Spain and the head-to-head rules that apply, they are likely to have to beat Barcelona by four goals to have any chance of progressing as the group winners. Obviously, that seems very unlikely, but it would still be a big confidence boost for the Italians if they could beat a side with the stature and power of Barcelona.
We should expect a very close encounter, and the game could be decided by any one of the many outrageously talented players on show. Juve boast Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain up front, whereas Barcelona have Messi and Luis Suarez. There should be goals and it should be a thrilling match.
It really is a close game to call, but if you think you know what will happen, then head on over to one of our dedicated betting partners. We will provide you with a lowdown of all the bookmakers who offer odds on this match, as well as where you can find the best prices and offers. Place your bets nice and early, then sit back and watch as two European heavyweights dish it out at this early stage.