Champions League Preview: Juventus - Celtic
The Turin giant holds a three-goal advantage after the Glasgow meeting between the two sides as it looks to secure a place in the quarterfinals 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. Paolo De Ceglie, Nicklas Bendtner and Simone Pepe (all thigh) all continued to be sidelined with long-term injuries.
Celtic arrives in Turin knowing it needs a miracle in order to qualify for the quarterfinal 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. Swedish fullback Mikael Lustig (thigh) also looks set to sit the game out.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus is unbeaten in Europe for almost three years, recording eight wins and nine draws, with its last defeat being a 4-1 thumping away to Fulham.
- The Serie A leader also has an impressive record at home in the Champions League, having only lost once in its last 29 games.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal (pictured right) will miss the first leg of a potential quarterfinal 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 has 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 has yet to record a win in Italy, having only recorded three draws in its 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 its last 21 games.
- The SPL leader fielded a side during its opening group stage fixture with Benfica that included 10 players making their Champions League debuts.
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)||Mar 6, 2013||Juventus 2 - Celtic 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 12, 2013||Celtic 0 - Juventus 3|
|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|
|Nov 5, 2013||Juventus 2 - Real Madrid 2||UCL|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed