Juventus - Celtic Preview: Hoops need a miracle to reach last eight for first time
The Turin giants hold a three-goal advantage after the Glasgow meeting between the two sides as they look to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League
By Matthew Harold
Barzagli, Bonucci, Peluso
Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Marchisio, Asamoah
Matthews, Ambrose, Wilson, Izaguirre
Ledley, Wanyama, Commons
Forrest, Hooper, Samaras
With his side being three goals ahead in the tie, Juventus boss Antonio Conte is likely to leave out defender Giorgio Chiellini who made his return from injury in the 1-1 draw with Napoli on Friday night after being out since December.
Conte also has doubts over the fitness of Martin Caceres and Nicolas Anelka (both back) and therefore probably won’t be risked for the second leg, while Paolo De Ceglie, Nicklas Bendtner and Simone Pepe (all thigh) all continued to be sidelined with long-term injuries.
Celtic arrive in Turin knowing they need a miracle in order to qualify for the quarter-final stages, but boss Neil Lennon has good news with talismanic striker Georgios Samaras returning during the 2-1 defeat away to Motherwell in the SPL last Wednesday.
However, Scott Brown's ongoing abductor problems will force him to miss the trip, while Swedish full back Mikael Lustig (thigh) also looks set to sit the game out.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus are unbeaten in Europe for almost three years, recording eight wins and nine draws, with their last defeat being a 4-1 thumping away to Fulham.
- The Serie A leaders also have an impressive record at home in the Champions League, having only lost once in their last 29 games.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal (pictured right) will miss the first leg of a potential quarter-final tie should they receive a yellow card.
- Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the only survivor of the last fixture between the two sides in Turin, when a last-minute Nicola Amoruso penalty saw Juventus claim a controversial 3-2 victory.
- Celtic have failed to get by the last 16 stage since the creation of the Champions League, falling at this hurdle twice, at the hands of AC Milan and Barcelona.
- The Parkhead side have yet to record a win in Italy, having only recorded three draws in their nine visits to the country.
- The victory Neil Lennon’s side recorded at Spartak Moscow during the second game of the group stages was Celtic’s first away victory in the Champions League in their last 21 games.
- The SPL leaders fielded a side during their opening group stage fixture with Benfica that included 10 players making their Champions League debuts.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 Celtic
- 29.33 %
Juventus 3-0 Celtic
- 14.5 %
Juventus 2-1 Celtic
- 10.04 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||6 Mar 2013||Juventus 2 - Celtic 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||12 Feb 2013||Celtic 0 - Juventus 3|
|18 May 2013||Sampdoria 3 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|11 May 2013||Juventus 1 - Cagliari 1||ITA1|
|8 May 2013||Atalanta 0 - Juventus 1||ITA1|
|5 May 2013||Juventus 1 - Palermo 0||ITA1|
|28 Apr 2013||Torino 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Returns:||Juventus £14.40||Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Returns:||Draw £560.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Celtic £4010.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
The former Newcastle keeper has been in outstanding form this season which has seen calls for him to receive an England call-up swell. The 24-year-old illustrated his wealth of skills on Saturday, with a superb save from St Mirren’s Graham Carey to secure a place in the Scottish Cup semi-final for the Glasgow giants.
The result in Glasgow makes this game nearly irrelevant, as the SPL leaders are unlikely to be able to overcome a three-goal deficit, while making sure that the home side don’t add to their advantage. Juventus should ultimately be able to see out the game and claim a place in the last eight of the Champions League with a comfortable home victory.