The UEFA Champions League group stage is at its last matchday and we are all excited as the Round of 16, which is considered the stage where the real tournament starts, is getting closer.
The group stage has provided fans and viewers alike all over the world with its own share of entertainment, suspense and surprises. Goals of all kinds have been scored to decide matches all over Europe and teams that are underdogs have usurped favorites at times to prove the notion that the game is unpredictable. Blockbuster games, that are mostly reserved for the knockout stages, have also been served up in the group stages to the delight of fans, neutrals and bettors alike looking for wagering opportunities on big matches.
UCL 2020/21 Group Stage Highlights
Defending champions Bayern Munich were paired against Atlético Madrid, who have become accustomed to the UCL after years of bossing the UEFA Europa League. Italian heavyweight, Inter Milan came up against record UCL winners, Real Madrid, while English giants, Manchester United, were pitted against the previous season’s semi-finalist and finalist, RB Leipzig and Paris Saint Germain. Chelsea also played against perennial UEFA Europa League winners, Sevilla, to serve us a group stage of blockbusters.
Barcelona vs Juventus : Messi vs CR7
The biggest of them all is the match between five-times winner, Barcelona of Spain, who boast the mercurial talent of Lionel Messi, and Italian kings, Juventus, who rely on their evergreen and match winning Portuguese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo. The two players have won a total of 11 Ballons d’Or’s, cementing their place at two of the game’s greatest.
Their opening group stage meeting was played at the Allianz Stadium, the home of Juventus, but resulted in a 0-2 win for the visiting team in the absence of talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo. Results since make the final group stage match a decisive one with top spot still up-for-grabs, as it will potentially decide the kind of draw awaiting both teams in the Round of 16 stage.
Our team of experts at Marathonbet have looked closely at the data and statistics of both teams in anticipation of what to expect when they take to the field at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona vs Juventus Preview & Analysis
Taking into account the fact that both teams are under new coaches willing to instill their philosophy in the team, they haven’t started their respective league seasons in the normal fashion for which they are known. Juventus have drawn matches against teams which look winnable on paper and are haunted by their inabilities to kill off games as quickly as possible, while Barcelona have failed in their biggest tests in the league against their regular rivals for the title. They lost to both Madrid teams and only scored one goal in those matches.
In their most recent games at the weekend, this struggle continued. Juventus needed an 89th minute winner to beat Torino, whilst Barcelona lost to Cádiz and now sit in ninth place in La Liga.
The two teams have also got the form of players to contend with. Barcelona’s main man, Lionel Messi, is yet to hit his usual heights this season as he has only scored two goals from open play. Maybe the early season rumours of him looking for a move away have been unsettling, which is affecting the teams overall performance so far this season. Juventus are faced with a similar problem in the form of fellow Argentine, Paulo Dybala, who is struggling for form in the ongoing season and has found himself on the bench several times in recent games.
Barcelona vs Juventus prediction
Both teams are also faced with injury problems especially in the defence, which could point to the match producing more goals than expected from a match of such magnitude. Gerard Pique, Giorgio Chiellini, Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Merih Demiral and Ansu Fati are some of the players to have hit the treatment table in both camps during the ongoing season. This means both teams do not have a full squad to pick from.
Their UCL campaigns have been somewhat different to their league season; they’ve capitalised on being drawn with underdogs Dynamo Kiev from Ukraine and Ferencváros of Hungary to occupy the top two positions in the table. Attack has been both teams’ greatest weapon and it is expected to be on display again in the return leg with the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, the all-time UCL top scorer, who missed the first match between the clubs.
However, we think the match will be decided by the players in the middle of the park who are expected to dictate the tempo of the game. The match will prove to be tough, but we are backing the club from Italy to avenge their defeat in the first leg as they travel to the home of their opponent.
TIP :- Juventus To Win
You can also check out our Europa League Predictions here.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
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