Two years ago, Barcelona defeated Juventus 3-1 in the Champions League final. Now, the clubs are getting ready to battle again, but this time in the UCL quarter-finals, with the first game to take place in Turin.
The road to the quarter-finals was different for both teams. While Juventus did not have any problems against Porto, Barcelona – the main favorite of the tournament – suddenly lost to PSG 4-0 in the first away leg, but then completed the most historic comeback and advanced to the next stage with a 6-5 win on aggregate.
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Since their last duel in the UCL final in 2015, both teams have changed. Juventus lost their key midfielders – Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba. Plus, Carlos Tevez decided to come to Argentina. However, Juventus was active on the market and signed Paolo Dybala from Palermo, Miralem Pjanic from AC Roma, Dani Alves from FC Barcelona, and Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli. Those players made Juventus even stronger than two years ago. On the other hand, Barcelona lost only Xavi and Dani Alves, but unlike Juventus, the Blaugranes failed the last few transfer windows. Players who were supposed to make Barcelona stronger, in fact just did not adapt to tiki-taka – a style of play in soccer characterized by short passing to maintain possession.
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As a result, Juventus seems a favorite in the upcoming duel. The duet of forwards Higuain – Dybala supported by Cuadrado and Pjanic can cause a lot of problems for Barcelona’s defense, which does not seem strong this season. The first game against PSG revealed that the Spanish grand does not feel comfortable under pressure. Knowing that, Massimiliano Allegri will push his players to put pressure on Barcelona all 90 minutes. However, Luis Enrique will do everything to prevent the scenario that occurred in Paris in February. Barcelona have to score at least once tomorrow in order to have good chances to play in the semi-finals. There are no doubts that Juventus will score, but will Barcelona be able to do the same?
The game will give an answer tomorrow.