Here we go with another high-voltage clash in the Champions League. This time Italian giant Juventus is welcoming the struggling English giant Manchester United on Wednesday night at Allianz Stadium.
Currently, Juventus is topping the Group H table with full 9 points from 3 matches so far while United is on the second position with just 4 points.
Arguably, Juventus is one of the main contenders for Champions League title of this season. They have won 13 out of their last 14 appearances in all competitions. Their formidable run of form is continuing from the start of this season as well.
After 11 matches, Juventus is on the top of Serie A point table with a clear 6 points difference, and they are in search of their eighth successive league title, which will be an astonishing achievement in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side is dominating in European arena as well. Why won’t they? Juve has brought in the arguably Champions League’s greatest ever player Cristiano Ronaldo in this summer. But Ronaldo is yet to find the net of his former club Manchester United in this season.
On the outside, Paulo Dybala was the star for Juventus in recent European outings. So far he has scored 4 goals including a hat-trick against Young Boys and the winner against United a fortnight ago.
Juve has such a balance side in all departments that they have a variety of choices for any position. But here in this match, Allegri will have to decorate his bench without Blaise Matuidi and Douglas Costa due to injury issues. Although Juve’s Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic has returned to the limited training following his ankle injury and could be seen on the bench. And winger Juan Cuadrado could feature in starting line-up as Costa’s replacement.
Undoubtedly, Manchester United is still struggling in their post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. Somehow, they have managed to get 3 points from their last two Premier League games, but that sort of form will not help them to seal their place in last 16 at all.
However, Red Devils are on the second spot of Group H point table, but a defeat in Turin will definitely be probable group stage knockout for them with 2 games to spare. At least a point will help them a lot to hold the second spot.
Nonetheless, it seems pretty hard for Jose Mourinho’s side to earn a point from here. Although Paul Pogba was denied by the post against his former club in the first leg, they seemed quite helpless against the mighty Juventus throughout the game. Actually, United was outplayed by Juve in every aspect on that occasion.
There will be no Romelu Lukaku for United in Turin, that’s for sure. Even Jose has said he was rested due to injury in this weekend, but his scoreless last 9 appearances suggest his position on the bench once again.
Regarding their effective performances in the last week, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera could be featured in the starting lineup.
With the remarkable effects from the start of the season, Anthony Martial is on the top of Mourinho’s list. But Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia still remain sidelined for Jose.
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Bentancur, Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Ronaldo
Man Utd possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Rashford, Sanchez, Martial