Juventus vs Dinamo Zagreb by Enzo
With a 1:3 victory away from home against Sevilla in the previous Champions League round played, Juventus secured their participation in the knockout stage of the Champions League, while the team will be safe on the first place in case they get a victory over Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb this night. However, not everything started as they planned in Seville, since the Spaniards took the lead in 9th minute via Pareja.
Surely deciding factor in the game happened in 36th minute when home team stood playing with a man less when Vazquez got red carded and everything was much more easier for the players of Juventus. They leveled up the result in second minute of additional time of first halftime from a penalty kick taken by Marchisio, while they sealed the victory with two late goals, in 84th via Bonucci and with a goal from Mandzukic in fourth minute of additional time. As for their domestic league, team won at home over Atalanta 3:1 last weekend and lead the table with four points more than Roma and Milan.
Juventus should be playing in 3-5-2 formation with Mandzukic and Higuain as their strikers. Stephan Liechtsteiner (9/1) is not registered to play in Champions League, while other right full back, Dani Alves (8/1) is out in next weeks. This should mean that Juan Cuadrado starts at that position. Forward Paulo Dybala (8/3) is doutbful but could play, while injured also remain central defenders Leonardo Bonucci (12/1) and Andrea Barzagli (10/0) as well as talented forward Marko Pjaca (5/0).
Dinamo, on the other side, couldn't get a point in a home game against French side Lyon, even though it might be said that they were really close this time. Visitors dominated the game for whole ninety minutes, but the players of Dinamo defended well till 72nd when Lacazette brought Lyon into the lead and even though the Croatian side tried to react, they weren't at expected level.
This was their fifth defeat in five matches, but even more disappointing thing is that they didn't score a single goal in these five, being stuck at the rock bottom position having seven points less than third placed Lyon and without any chance to reach the Europa League exit. Moreover, there are no doubts that the team will be worst performers of this season's Champions League, maybe alongside Club Brugge as well. They only took a point in a home domestic league game against Rijeka last weekend and continue to be six points below them at the table, being currently second.
Croats are set to play in 4-5-1 formation with Fernandes alone at the top of attack. Visitors could welcome back Petar Stojanovic from suspension, but have lost defensive midfielder Jonas (4/0) due one game ban. Offensive midfielder Domagoj Antolic (7/1) and central defender Marko Leskovic (who didn't play so far anyway) continue to be injured.
- Dinamo Zagreb have failed to score in their last 5 matches (UEFA Champions League), having lost all five.
Juventus misses couple of players, but they shouldn't be rotating much for this one. Quality difference was obvious in the game in Zagreb already when the Italians took the four goal victory and I expect similar to happen today as well. Juventus needs a victory to be sure in the first position and should reach it even easier than what the current odds suggest. Another four goals, or even bigger margin victory wouldn't be much of a surprise for me.