An injury-plagued Barcelona go head to head with a full strength Juventus side tonight at the Allianz Stadium in their fifth Champions League Group D match.

As per the official squad list, the visitors have a number of players missing in action. Forward Ousmane Dembélé and midfielders Rafinha, Arda Turan, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes and Javier Mascherano are all set to miss out for Barcelona and haven’t travelled with the squad.

However, Ernesto Valverde has his first choice starting XI with him and fully fit, so the absentees shouldn’t bother him too much. Gerard Pique comes back into contention after serving a 1-match suspension, so that will undoubtedly come as a timely boost for the Catalans.

Barcelona's forward Lionel Messi (L) from Argentina, Barcelona's defender Gerard Piquet (C) from Spain and Barcelona's forward Luis Suarez from Uruguay attend a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match Juventus Vs Barcelona on November 21, 2017 at the 'Juventus Stadium' in Turin. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO (Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi (L), Gerard Pique (C) and Luis Suarez attend a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League match against Juventus on November 21, 2017 at the ‘Juventus Stadium’ in Turin. (Picture Courtesy -Getty Images)

The two sides met in last year’s quarterfinals, where Barcelona lost the first leg 3:0 at this very stadium, before only managing a draw at the Nou Camp. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Ernesto Valverde insisted that he didn’t consider his side favourites to come out on top.

He said “I don’t consider us to be favourites. It’ll be a tight match and I honestly don’t think there’s a clear favourite. Of course I’ve looked at last year’s loss,” Before adding, “They played well last year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have learned everything from what happened last year and we can turn it around this time.”

GENOA, ITALY - NOVEMBER 19: Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus) during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Juventus at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on November 19, 2017 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images)

Federico Bernardeschi  during the Serie A match against UC Sampdoria at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on November 19, 2017 in Genoa, Italy. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

As for the hosts Juventus, according to their official squad list, Federico Bernardeschi is the only major absentee. due to muscle fatigue. Massimiliano Allegri rested some key names during last week’s loss to Sampdoria, and they will all likely return to the starting XI.

Paulo Dybala, Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Alex Sandro and Blaise Matuidi are all expected to return to the starting XI. Speaking of their opponents in his pre-match press conference, Allegri insisted that the visitors had a better ‘balance’ going into the tie.

He, like Valverde also took a cautious approach, insisting that it would difficult tonight.

“Every match is unique and there aren’t two that are the same. I’m a practical coach and Barca haven’t lost in 14 league games and four Champions League games. They have only conceded twice and scored 22 so right now they have a greater balance than us. It will be a difficult match against them and we need to qualify, but nothing has been decided yet.”

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