As we prepare for the biggest encounter in the UEFA Champions League this midweek, we have two teams that seem to be on the opposite spectrums of form and morale at the moment in Juventus and Manchester City.
While Manchester City have started their season brilliantly, and are in the chase for the Premier League title, Juventus seem to be quite far from that in Italy.
The Bianconeri’s poor start to the season has seen them fall off the pace in the challenge for the title that they are defending. However, Girlfriend of Italy seems to be gradually finding back her form, as she climbs her way up the Seria A table.
However, one point where both these teams would differ from one another is that they are coming into this match on the back of quite contrasting results in their respective domestic leagues.
Manchester City have just suffered a humiliating 4-1 loss at home to Liverpool FC, who have not been on such great form anyway. This loss has dented their title challenge a bit, as they have slipped to the third place from the top of the table.
On the other hand Juventus, who have not been in particularly great form themselves, managing just two wins in their last five matches before the weekend, would be on a high after they beat rivals AC Milan on Saturday.
Allegri slowly piecing the black-and-white puzzle together
Antonio Conte had built Juventus into a great team once again after the Old Ladya s fall from grace, and had even brought the Scudetto back to Turin, going on to win it three years in a row.
When Massimiliano Allegri took over from Conte, he proved his credentials by furthering Juvea s glorious run to the Champions League, taking them to the finals. At the start of the 2015/16 season however, all that good work seems to have been undone, after the likes of Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo moved out.
With a bunch of new signings, Allegri has found the going tough, and the Old Lady has had a limping start to the season. However, this is not a sprint race, and Juventus slowly seem to be finding their feet once again, with the likes of Argentine forward Paolo Dybala stepping up to the plate, with six goals from eight matches.
The performances of star midfielder Paul Pogba were also a cause for concern at the start of the season, but the Frenchman seems to have rediscovered his form, as Juventus begins to look like a real European force once again.
It takes time to get a number of players to gel together, and Allegri seems to have understood that, showing patience as his newly assembled side gets accustomed to playing alongside each other.
Leadership issues at hand for Pellegrini
Manchester City, on the other hand, have played some beautiful football this season, and find themselves in the middle of a difficult four-way fight for the Premier League title. The 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool FC might be considered as a bit of a blip in an otherwise superb season (so far), but the players are unlikely to forget such a hammering any time soon.
However, their main issue seems to be the lack of a proper leader on the pitch. Club captain Vincent Kompany has been a pillar at the heart of their defence, leading his team from the back, a position that allows him to see the entire game in front of him.
However, the Belgian has been out of action due to a calf injury, and though there have been reports that he is getting back to fitness, it seems unlikely that Pellegrini would risk Kompany.
Of course, the Chilean has a big enough squad at his disposal to replace Kompany — Otamendi, Mangala and Demichelis his other centre-back options — but none of them have yet formed the leadership qualities to lead the team out of trouble when the going gets tough, as it did against Liverpool FC.
However, with marksman Sergio Aguero back from a long injury layoff, opponents always have to be on their guard, as was evident from the solitary City goal against an otherwise perfect Liverpool FC.
This clash of giants from Italy and England can certainly prove to be a spicy affair, especially with Juventus having already beaten Manchester City at the Etihad. However, it remains to be seen whether the Killer Lady can be the femme fatale on the leaderless Citizens on a cold night in Turin.