Atletico de Madrid
Juventus Stadium, Turin
10th December 2014, 1:15IST
Juventus entertain Atletico de Madrid, in the last gameweek of the UEFA Champions League. Juventus would be hoping to edge Atletico de Madrid, and clinch a top spot, while disposing the Spanish leaders, who top the group with 12 points. Atletico de Madrid meanwhile, would be hoping to hold to on their coveted and ‘lucky’ top spot when they take to the field against the Turin based club side, on Tuesday evening.
Team News and Tactical Brief:
A frustrating draw against Fiorentina in Matchweek 14 of the Italian Serie A, has not elated Juventus’s spirits. The bianconneri although dominated the fixture, failed to create chances and lacked ideas in the final third. With Atletico de Madrid next, Juventus would hope to draw inspiration from their nine game unbeaten streak at home in Europe. To clinch the favored top spot in Group A, Juventus have to defeat Atletico Madrid by a goal difference of two goals or more. Although a win would be more than enough to guide the Serie A champions to the next round, defeat to Atletico Madrid, would leave the group stage open for third place Olympiacos, to snatch the second spot.
Max Allegri, is expected to go into this fixture with a flat back four. The duo of Patrice Evra and Stephen Lichtsteiner, are expected to patrol their respective flanks and haunt the Atletico defense with bombarding and over-lapping runs forward. Although Giorgio Cheillini has been one of the stalwarts in the Juventus team, his performances lately have not matched his pedigree. The imposing Italian suffered in his duel against Juan Cuadrado of Fiorentina. Still, with Leonardo Bonucci, partnering him the Cheillini would look to exorcise his demons, and would hope to deliver a stellar performance.
The midfield trident of Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal is likely to start in Juventus’s crunch encounter. The trio have impressed with their performances thus far, and with Pirlo dropping deep and pulling strings the attacking department also benefits from his excellent passing range. Paul Pogba, is perhaps the hottest talent in Europe and his stature does sheer justice to that. The Frenchman has paved his way into the Juventus midfield and sidelined Claudio Marchisio. Pogaba’s ability to do the extraordinary out of nothing, is perhaps is greatest weapon. Although the Frenchman does over-commit things, his talent would be once again tested against the likes of Koke and Turan.
With Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente leading the Juventus line, Roberto Peryeyra is expected to be deployed as the creative midfielder. Tevez’s untired running was missed in Juventus’s encounter against Fiorentina and with the Argentine back into the Juventus squad, the attacking department would be more than benefited.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Gigi Buffon, Stephen Lichtsteiner, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Cheillini, Patrice Evra, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba, Robetro Peryeyra, Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tevez.
Atletico de Madrid
Atletico Madrid would be looking to hold on to their top spot and dish out a decent performance against the Serie A champions, wherein they could collect some points. Atletico de Madrid come into this fixture on the back of a 2-0 win against Elche in the Spanish la Liga. Atletico Madrid would also be looking to draw inspiration from their 1-0 win against Juventus, at home. Atletico, however, have won five of their last eight Champions League matches on the road. They have also won their last four in this competition since losing to Olympiacos on matchday one.
Boasting Mario Mandzukic and Griezmann in their attack, powered by the impressive midfield duo of Tiago and Koke, Atletico Madrid would be looking to haunt Juventus’s defensive pairing of Leonardo Bonucci and Cheillini. Mandzukic’s imposing figure could prove to be a tough test for the Italian backline.
Atletico de Madrid would also be looking to capitalize their set piece scenarios as Juventus has had a bad run of form in defending set pieces. With heading prowess in the team,Atletico Madrid are expected to be compact in shape and hit Juventus through long balls and counters. This fixture against Juventus, could also prove to be a test of Atletico Madrid’s mental toughness as they would also have to face the electric and intimidating atmosphere of the Juventus Stadium.
Probable Starting Lineup (4-4-2): Moya, Juanfran, Gimenez, Diego Godin, Siquiera, Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Turan, Mario Mandzukic, Girezmann
- Atlético are through and will clinch the group as long as they do not lose by a margin of two goals or more.
- Juventus will be through with a draw or if Olympiacos do not win. A victory by a margin of two goals or more would give them first place
- Juventus are on a nine match unbeaten streak at home, in Europe.
Players To Watch Out For :
Carlos Tevez ( Juventus )
Carlitos Tevez, has been a revelation for Juventus ever since he moved from Manchester City. The Argentine is arguably Juventus’s best player in attack. His pedigree of converting half chances still stands strong in the Serie A, whilst scoring goals at regular intervals. Tevez would look to haunt the Atletico Madrid defense, with his snappy footwork and tireless running off the ball.
Mario Mandzukic ( Atletico de Madrid )
Mario Mandzukic’s imposing presence is expected to prove a thorn in Juventus’s endeavors. The physical striker has developed a penchant – to thrive on long balls and would look to haunt the Juventus defense through set pieces or would look to capitalize on the long balls, fed to him by Koke or Turan.
Juventus 2 – Atletico de Madrid 1
Juventus are expected to clinch this encounter. Although the match would be an evenly fought encounter, the Turin based club are expected to run high – injected with home support and deliver a ‘not so chicken‘ performance.