Juventus - Nordsjaelland Preview: Danes prepare for Bianconeri backlash
Having capitulated at the hands of one of their fiercest rivals at the weekend, the Old Lady will be hoping to win in style against the Superliga champions
By Craig Turnbull
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
L'steiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah Bendtner, Giovinco
Parkhurst, Okore, Runje, Mtiliga
Lorentzen, Beckmann, John
Juventus will be hoping to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat to Inter on Saturday with a victory over Danish side Nordsjaelland on Wednesday.
Antonio Conte's men went 49 league games undefeated before the weekend's blip, however, their form in Europe has left much to be desired, not taken three points from any of their Champions League clashes this season while they have also drawn their last nine games in the competition - a record few would envy.
And perhaps a reason behind the lack of victories for the Bianconeri has been there lack of an out-and-out goalscorer upfront with Conte yet to get the most out of his strikers at his disposal.
Mirko Vucinic, who scored when the two sides met on matchday three, is a doubt for the hosts after coming off against Inter at the weekend, which could give Nicklas Bendtner the opportunity to stake his claim.
Giorgio Chiellini is a booking away from suspension which could mean he would miss Juve's next match in Europe against Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Nordsjaelland come into this encounter off a 2-1 victory in the Superliga against SonderjyskE. The visitors lie second in their domestic league but results in Europe so far have suggested Kasper Hjulmand's side have struggled with the step up in class.
However, the performance last time out against Wednesday's opponents would certainly give cause for optimism. The Danish side more than matched their illustrious counterparts with Mikkel Beckmann giving his team the lead with a wonderful free-kick only to be pegged back by Vucinic's equaliser.
The Danes could be without skipper Nicolai Stokholm, who travelled to Turin with the squad, but missed the weekend's match with a calf injury while Lasse Petry is also unavailable.
Defenders Patrick Mtiliga and Ivan Runje are one booking away from a suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- In the last 11 games at home in Europe, Juventus' record reads W2 D8 L1, though, they have only been defeated once in their last 23 games in Turin.
- The Bianconeri have conceded three of their four goals in the Champions League this season from outside the penalty area.
- The Serie A champions have played Danish opponents once back in 1982 where they played Hvidovre. Juventus won 4-1 away from home but in the second leg, the Danes came back from 3-0 in the last 15 minutes to draw 3-3.
- Nordsjaelland, along with Dinamo Kiev, Spartak Moscow and Manchester City have conceded the most goals (7) this campaign. Mikkel Beckmann (pictured, right) has netted the club's only strike in the Champions League.
- The Danes have struggled away from home having lost three of their last five matches on the road.
- The Farum based side were only formed 21 years ago and are making their first appearance in the Champions League along with Malaga and Montpellier.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 FC Nordsjælland
- 19.54 %
Juventus 3-0 FC Nordsjælland
- 17.3 %
Juventus 8-0 FC Nordsjælland
- 9.25 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 7, 2012||Juventus 4 - FC Nordsjælland 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 23, 2012||FC Nordsjælland 1 - Juventus 1|
|Mar 2, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Feb 27, 2014||Trabzonspor AŞ 0 - Juventus 2||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Juventus 1 - Torino 0||ITA1|
|Feb 20, 2014||Juventus 2 - Trabzonspor AŞ 0||EL|
|Feb 16, 2014||Juventus 3 - Chievo 1||ITA1|
|-||Enock Kofi Adu||Midfielder|
Vidal has come to his side's rescue many times this season and it may well come down to him to give the Bianconeri the edge here. The Chilean is the club's top goalscorer this season with six goals and scored against Chelsea earlier on in the group stages. Has been struggling with form of late, though, did find the net at Catania. Could be the difference here in midfield for the hosts.
Beckmann scored an excellent curling effort which beat Gianluigi Buffon in goals when they two sides faced each other on matchday three and found the net at the weekend, grabbing his 10th goal in the Superliga this term. He has a real eye for goal, and the Juve defenders will have to pay close attention to his running and accurate finishing.
The hosts have been stuttering of late but should have enough to see off their Danish visitors, it is a must-win game for the Italians if they want to avoid early elimination from the tournament but with no obvious goalscorer it may rest on the shoulders of the midfield to find the back of the net.