FC Barcelona – Juventus preview

Published on 14 octubre, 2017 by

The leaders of La Liga and Serie A meet in a classic Champions League opening clash at the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona looking to take advantage of being at home in order to get an early foothold in Group D.
Lionel Messi’s move to a more central position has paid immediate dividends for Ernesto Valverde, his 38th career hat-trick paving the way for a 5-0 win in the derby at the weekend. The Argentinian will need to be at his very best once more against a strong Juventus side, who ended Barça’s European aspirations last season. Losing finalists in Cardiff, the Italians will be keen to continue their own unbeaten start to the 2017/18 campaign.
Team News
Sergi Roberto is back after missing the game against Espanyol and he’s joined by Denis Suárez, although Paco Alcácer misses out with gastroenteritis. Arda Turan and Rafinha are still nursing injuries and are unavailable for selection, whilst Vermaelen, Digne and Aleix Vidal are left out by Valverde.
The full squad is as follows: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitić, Sergio, Denis, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Mascherano, Paulinho, Deulofeu, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Umtiti.
Massimiliano Allegri has picked 19 players for the trip to Catalonia. They don’t include defensive stalwart, Giorgio Chiellini, or Mario Mandžukić, both of whom trained normally on Monday but were deemed not fit enough. Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and Benedikt Höwedes are also injured and they will stay in Turin alongside Juan Cuadrado, who is ineligible after being sent off in last season’s final.
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