Barcelona vs Juventus by Isaiah
Barcelona didn't start in the season in the best possible way, as the team got outplayed in two matches from their biggest rivals from Real Madrid as the side suffered two defeats and an overall 5:1 loss on aggregate score. However, their LaLiga campaign started well, firstly with victories over Betis and Alaves, both times with 2:0 result, while the team continued domination with a 5:0 victory at home over Espanyol in a local derby last weekend.
It was decent preparation for the start of Champions League, as the team now stands first at the table with maximum nine points out of three rounds together with Real Sociedad, but being one of two teams in LaLiga which is yet to concede, more important, they are already four points ahead of their biggest rival in the title race. Messi looked in-form by scoring first three goals for Barcelona, while Pique and Suarez scored too in last five minutes of the match for more than deserved victory.
Home team should be set in 4-3-3 formation with Messi, Suarez and Dembele in attack, with the last one being set to make his debut here. Rafinha is long term absentee for Barca, while midfielders Arda Turan and Sergi Roberto shouldn't play too. No major changes are expected in their starting eleven.
Juventus, on the other side, similar to Barcelona, has lost the Super Cup clash losing out to Lazio 2:3 in the middle of August (with quite unlucky was as they conceded the third goal in third minute of additional time), but has improved since then when the regular part of the season started with Serie A. Victories came over Cagliari at home 3:0, but also against Genoa on the road 2:4, despite being back 2:0 in the scoreline already in seventh minute.
In the most recent game, they took a professional victory over Chievo last Saturday evening with a 3:0 result, by doing simply what was needed in order to get these three points. They had more of the ball possession, while the impression is that they scored their goals easily, not needing a lot of chances to open up the opponent. Leading goal came as an own goal in 17th minute, while Higuain and Dybala sealed the victory with a goal each in the second halftime. After three rounds played, the side shares the first position with Napoli and Inter, having better goal difference at the moment.
Right back Stephan Lichtsteiner (3/0) and offensive Marko Pjaca weren't registered for European clashes, while suspended for this one is offensive midfielder Juan Cuadrado (2/1) who got red carded in previous Champions League finals. Left back Alex Sandro (2/0) is having fitness issues, while central defender Giorgio Chiellini (2/0) is expected to miss out. Midfielder Claudio Marchisio (1/0) and Sami Khedira (2/0) shouldn't play as well.
Juventus already showed some signs of weakness in their away game to Genoa, but it will be much more difficult for them when visiting Barcelona as it won't be that easy for them to respond in attack. Two teams know each other very well and I will be with the home side in this one. They somehow looked more stable in previous few matches and with the help of own fans, they should be able to celebrate a three pointer here easy or hard.