Juventus are still in danger of losing their top spot in Group H of the UEFA Champions League and will hope to lock it down with a win away at BSC Young Boys.
Young Boys have pride to play for on Wednesday, with the club rock bottom in Group H, having racked up just one point from their five matches so far. Valencia are third with five points, which means Young Boys cannot even harbour hopes of battling for a spot in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase.
In fact, the Swiss giants have not much to play for anyway, with the club already leading by 19 points in the Swiss Super League. But, they would love to end their Group Stage campaign with a statement performance against Juventus.
Juventus, on the other hand, have not exactly cruised through the Group Stage. But, no one expected the shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United, that too at home. The defeat has seen Juventus not be assured of their top spot just yet, with Manchester United capable of snatching the top spot with a win over Valencia, if Juventus fail to win against Young Boys.
Their fixture earlier in the season ended in a 3-0 win for Juventus and the defending Serie A champions would hope to grab all three points on Wednesday as well. We now take a closer look at the two squads.
Team News & Tactics
BSC Young Boys
Sekou Sanogo is suspended for the tie while the likes of Steve von Burgen, Jordan Lotomba and Greogry Wuthrich are all doubts for the game against Juventus. David von Ballmoos should continue in goal for Young Boys. Loris Benito and Kevin Mbabu are both one booking away from a one-game suspension in the Champions League.
But, considering the fact that Young Boys are set to bow out of the competition, the two should start, on the left and right side of the back four. Mohamed Aly Camara and Sandro Lauper are likely to form the centre-back pairing. We expect Young Boys to take the field in a 4-4-2 formation, with the shape likely to change into a withdrawn 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 depending on the situation.
Miralem Sulejmani is one of the key players for Young Boys and the Serb should start on the right side of the four-man midfield, with Christian Fassnacht on the left. Fassnacht has been linked to several European clubs and could help his chances of earning a move to a more competitive league with a good performance against Juventus.
Djibril Sow and Leonardo Bertone will likely make up the numbers in central midfield. In attack, Guillerme Hoarau is the key man and the Frenchman will be entrusted with making the most of whatever opportunity comes his way. Hoarau will be accompanied by the only other player to score a goal for Young Boys in the Champions League this season, Roger Assale.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Ballmoos; Mbabu, Camara, Lauper, Benito; Sulejmani, Sow, Bertone, Fassnacht; Hoarau, Assale
Sami Khedira, Andrea Barzagli and Medhi Benatia are injured and unavailable for the game on Wednesday, while Leonardo Spinazzola has not been registered for the Champions League by Juventus. Alex Sandro has returned to training and could be fit in time to face Young Boys.
But, the Brazilian is just a booking away from incurring a one-game suspension and is unlikely to be risked by Massimiliano Allegri. Blaise Matuidi is a booking away from suspension as well and could be rested on Wednesday. The back four should remain the same from the 1-0 win over Inter Milan on Friday night, with Mattia De Sciglio coming in for Alex Sandro.
Allegri should retain the 4-3-3 formation. But, with Matuidi likely to be rested and Emre Can being eased back into the lineup after his two-month injury layoff, the manager could go with a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur should form the bed of the midfield, with Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado making up the numbers in attacking midfield.
Cristiano Ronaldo should start upfront for Juventus, with the Portuguese likely to be intent on adding to his one goal so far in the Champions League this season.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, de Sciglio; Pjanic, Benatncur; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic; Ronaldo
1. Juventus are on a streak of five clean sheets in all competitions.
2. Juventus have not conceded a goal in away Champions League matches this season so far.
3. The red card earned by Cristiano Ronaldo this season against Valencia in the Champions League opener was his first in a European competition at club level.
4. Before joining Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo had 81 goals in his last 92 Champions League games. The last time Cristiano Ronaldo finished a Champions League campaign without reaching double digits in goals was the 2011-12 campaign.
5. Paulo Dybala has 4 goals in 4 Champions League games so far this season – 50% of Juventus goals in the Group Stage this season.
Player to Watch
Mattia de Sciglio
Alex Sandro’s injury has been a blessing in disguise for Mattia de Sciglio. Originally the first-choice at right-back, Joao Cancelo has displaced him through his impressive performances. But, de Sciglio has now received an extended run in the first-team on the left side.
But, with Alex Sandro set to return to action, de Sciglio would want to put in as many positive performances to make it a tough decision for Massimiliano Allegri when the Brazilian is available again.
BSC Young Boys 1-3 Juventus
Juventus are aware that even a draw could leave them prone to finishing second in Group H, if Manchester United end up winning against Valencia by a healthy margin. To add to it, Cristiano Ronaldo would be pumped to catch up to the top scorers in the Champions League so far.
Ronaldo currently has just one goal in 4 games and would love to pad his stats a bit against Young Boys. Expect Ronaldo to get himself on the scoresheet, at least once if not more. A comfortable win for Juventus is on the cards on Wednesday.