Champions League Preview: Juventus - Chelsea
With Roberto Di Matteo's men joint-top of Group E but just a point ahead of the Bianconeri, Tuesday night's clash should prove to be a deciding factor in the final standings.
By John Stammers
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
Lichtsteiner, Marchisio, Pirlo, Vidal, Isla
Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Juventus was frustrated in a 0-0 draw with Lazio at the weekend but has very few injury concerns, Mirko Vucinic has been absent with a knock since the Old Lady's Serie A defeat to Inter, while Paolo De Cegile (thigh) is still regaining fitness.
Elsewhere Andrea Pirlo will return after sitting out the weekend's game through suspension, with former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba dropping to the bench.
Sebastian Giovinco could miss out on a starting role after a below-par showing at the weekend, with Alessandro Matri and Nicklas Bendtner waiting in the wings and Simone Pepe ramped up his comeback from injury on Saturday with a substitute appearance.
Roberto Di Matteo has hinted that Fernando Torres' place in the side may be under threat, with Daniel Sturridge waiting in the wings, however it would be a big call to drop the 50 million pound man.
Chelsea will be without John Terry (knee) with Frank Lampard (calf) also a major doubt. Ashley Cole (hamstring) should return after being an unused substitute in the defeat to West Brom.
Oscar, Juan Mata, Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires all started on the bench in that loss on Saturday, but should return to the Blues' lineup for the Group E clash.
The visitors' manager may also chose to drop David Luiz after a sloppy display against the Baggies, with the option of keeping Cesar Azpilicueta at right back and moving Ivanovic into the middle.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus' 4-0 win over FC Nordsjaelland in its last Champions League game ended a record run of nine successive European draws.
- The reigning Serie A champion has a good record against English teams at home, winning 12 out of 20 meetings - however the club has won just one of the last six.
- Gianluigi Buffon (pictured), Leonardo Bonucci, Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo have all played every minute of the Old Lady's group stage campaign, with Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz doing the same for the Blues.
- Chelsea haw won only once in eight visits to Italy, beating Lazio, which drew with Juventus at the weekend, 4-0 in a group stage fixture in the 2003-04 season.
- The west Londoners have won just one of their last nine away games in the competition, while they are also without a win in their last four Premier League fixtures.
- Roberto Di Matteo was playing for Italy when Bianconeri keeper Buffon made his international debut, the game was a 1-1 draw with Russia in the 1998 World Cup playoff first leg.
- The west London outfit's duo of Fernando Torres and Juan Mata both scored against Buffon in Spain's 4-0 victory over Italy in the Euro 2012 final.
- Juve pair Giorgio Chiellini and Marchisio are both a booking away from a suspension, while Luiz is also one yellow away from missing a game.
Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 1-2 Chelsea
- 18.9 %
Juventus 3-1 Chelsea
- 13.64 %
Juventus 2-1 Chelsea
- 13.49 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 20, 2012||Juventus 3 - Chelsea 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Sep 19, 2012||Chelsea 2 - Juventus 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 10, 2009||Juventus 2 - Chelsea 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 25, 2009||Chelsea 1 - Juventus 0|
|Dec 6, 2013||Bologna 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|Dec 1, 2013||Juventus 1 - Udinese 0||SR-A|
|Nov 27, 2013||Juventus 3 - Copenhagen 1||UCL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Livorno 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|Nov 10, 2013||Juventus 3 - Napoli 0||SR-A|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|