Juventus Stadium, Turin
Wednesday 30th Sept, 2015, 19:45 GMT
In perhaps the ‘Group of Death’ in this season’s competition, match day two features two sides who emerged victorious from the opening week. The team getting a positive result here will be in a very strong position to avoid a disappointing finish in this tough group. Juventus are struggling in the league with only 5 points in their first 6 games. Last weekend they lost against Napoli and if things dona t improve fast they will find it really difficult to climb up the table to get into the Champions League for the next season. They opened their group stage in the Champions League this year with an impressive 2-1 away win against Manchester City. They were one goal down at the City of Manchester Stadium after an own goal from Chiellini. However, Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata turned things around giving the Italians all 3 vital points.
Sevilla, similarly, have played 6 games in La Liga and have only 5 points on the board. Last weekenda s 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano was Sevillaa s first in the league this season, following defeats against Atletico Madrid, Celta Vigo and Las Palmas in their opening five fixtures. They really needed the win as they will now play Juventus in the Champions League and Barcelona in La Liga. Struggle in La Liga doesna t mean the same in the European Cups. The Europa League winners started their Champions League campaign in good style beating Borussia M nchengladbach 3-0. Gameiro, Banega and Konoplyanka scored in that game and will hope to continue doing the same in Turin.
Team news and tactical brief
For the match, Allegri will be without Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic, after he sustained a thigh injury against Genoa just over a week ago. However, the under-pressure coach may have a few selection headaches in determining his best eleven. Mario Lemina and Alvaro Morata should get the nod ahead of Simone Padoin and Simone Zaza respectively. There is good news for Juventus, as not only Lichtsteiner, but also Sami Khedira has finally returned to first team training; but it is uncertain whether he will be fit enough to play against the reining Europa League champions.
The Bianconeri have endured a turbulent start to the Serie A season, but managed to secure an inspired 2-1 come-from-behind win against English heavyweights Manchester City on the first matchday. Allegri will be hoping for a similar showing from his players to maintain their unbeaten status in the competition and is desperate for a win against the Andalusian outfit which will reignite their Serie A campaign.
Probable Starting Lineup (3-5-2):Buffon(Gk); Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Lemina, Pogba, Pereyra, Sandro; Dybala, Morata
The first club to qualify for the Champions League as Europa League winners, Wednesday nighta s opponents Sevilla boast an impressive European pedigree, a talented manager and a squad with extensive big-game experience. Following the summer departures of Carlos Bacca and Aleix Vidal as well as Geoffrey Kondogbia, Ivan Rakitic and Federico Fazio in previous seasons, Emerya s squad building skills have been put to the test once more.
If his sidea s 3-0 triumph over Borussia Monchengladbach on Matchday 1 and Augusta s epic 5-4 defeat to Barcelona in the UEFA Super Cup are anything to go by though, the coming campaign promises to be just as entertaining as the last, for the Sevilla faithful. In a busy close-season of transfer activity, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Ciro Immobile, Gael Kakuta and Fernando Llorente have joined the cluba s attacking ranks and when in form, boast of the versatility and pace to threaten any defence. Further back, defenders Adil Rami, Marco Andreolli and midfielders Grzegorz Krychowiak and Steven Na Nonzi will provide the solidity and muscle to allow adventurous wing-backs Benoit Tremoulinas and Andujar Coke to roam forward. Ga l Kakuta and Sergio Escudero (muscle injuries) are doubtful for the trip to Turin; ver Banega (knee), Fernando Llorente , Daniel Carri o (hamstring) and Rami (adductor) are out.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Rico(Gk); Coke, Andreolli, Kolodziejczak, Tremoulinas; Krychowiak, Na Zonzi; Reyes, Iborra, Konoplyanka; Gameiro
- Juventus are on a 13-match unbeaten home run in the UEFA competition, dating back to a 2-0 loss to FC Bayern MA?nchen in April 2013. Their record in Turin in last term’s UEFA Champions League was W5 D1 L0.
- Their overall home record against Liga opposition is W13 D7 L2.
- In winning their fourth UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup in May, Sevilla surpassed Juventus’ three titles and became the club with most triumphs in the competition outright.
Players to Watch Out For
Alvaro Morata (Juventus)
Arriving from Real Madrid at a cost of a 20 million, Morata went on to play in 45 games last season, contributing 15 goals and five assists as he became the ideal foil for Carlos Tevez and the midfielders behind them. His Champions League performances caught the eye, netting in both legs of the semi-final clash with his former club and again in the final against Barcelona. Morata scored in 4 consecutive CL games for Juve, if he scores tomorrow against Sevilla, he will equal Del Piero’s record.
Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla)
The Polish international, who reportedly attracted the interest of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea this summer, is a typical midfield destroyer, who likes to break up play in front of his own defence. He does the vast majority of his work in central and defensive areas, very rarely straying up the pitch. He has only been at Sevilla for a single season a after making his name in French football a but played a key role as they finished only two points off third place in La Liga last term and also won the Europa League. Krychowiak is the main ball-winner in Unai Emerya s Sevilla team, with his 82 tackles being the third highest tally of any player in the Spanish top flight last season, winning the ball at an impressive 77 per cent success rate.
Juventus 2a 2 Sevilla
With both managers, Emery and Massimiliano Allegri, committed to attacking and expansive football and both sides keen to add to their impressive opening day wins in the competition, Sevilla are sure to contribute to an exciting Wednesday night of action at Juventus Stadium.
Blast From the Past
This Champions League encounter at the Juventus Stadium will be the first official meeting between the pair. They met in a friendly previously where Juventus survived a late Sevilla fightback in the 2009 Peace Cup.