Juventus host reigning European champions Chelsea on Wednesday evening in the group stage of the Champions League.
The Bianconeri spent the previous midweek battling out an encounter their own manager not so jokingly dubbed ‘a relegation showdown’, with the Old Lady following up a 3-2 victory in that six-pointer with just their second (thoroughly underwhelming) win of the Serie A season by the same scoreline on Sunday.
Chelsea may be coming into the contest on the back of a defeat, yet their first loss of the campaign was only narrowly earned by an otherworldly performance from Manchester City that was lightyears beyond the disjointed displays Juve have spluttered through so far.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.
When is kick off? Wednesday 29 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Allianz Stadium
What TV channel is it on? BT Sport 2 (UK), TUDN (US), DAZN (Canada)
Referee? Jesus Gil Manzano
VAR? Juan Martínez Munuera
Juventus team news
At the third time of asking, Juventus earned their first home win of the season with a far from convincing 3-2 victory over Sampdoria – but at some considerable cost. Paulo Dybala opened the scoring with a crisply struck volley yet left the pitch in tears before the half-hour mark after a reoccurrence of a previous injury.
Alvaro Morata also limped off later in the match and manager Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed both will miss the midweek tie. The pair of lesser spotted Brazilians Arthur and Kaio Jorge are also doubts.
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed the absence of Reece James, who suffered an ankle strain during Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount because of injury.
N’Golo Kante, who has had injury problems of his own, is also unavailable for the Blues after returning a positive Covid-19 test. That should mean Mateo Kovacic is partnered up with Jorginho, despite Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s bright cameos from the bench.
Juventus vs Chelsea predicted lineups
Juventus: Szczesny; De Ligt, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, McKennie, Locatelli, Bentancur, Sandro; Chiesa, Kean
Chelsea: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Chilwell; Ziyech, Lukaku, Havertz
Despite the frequency of their Champions League enrolment, Juventus and Chelsea have only ever faced each other four times. The Blues edged out their first pair of meetings in the round of 16 of the 2008/09 campaign, winning 3-2 on aggregate.
In a reversal of results, Chelsea and Juve played out a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge – made memorable for Oscar’s debut wonder strike – in the 2012 group stage. The Bianconeri ensured neither side has ever triumphed at the other’s home ground by effectively sending the Blues out of the competition with a 3-0 win on the penultimate matchday that year.
Juventus vs Chelsea score prediction
Thomas Tuchel’s fearsome European champions share many traits with the Juve sides that reached two Champions League finals in three years during Allegri’s first spell in Turin; impeccably drilled back-threes that are simply superb at defending rather than overtly defensive.
However, just seven games into his second stint at the helm, Allegri’s muddled hodgepodge goes into Wednesday’s contest closer in points to last place than first in Serie A.
Chelsea – in their current imposing guise – are favourites against all but, at most, a trio of Europe’s elite; Juventus are some way off Italy’s best, let alone the continent’s top tier at this precise point in time.
Prediction: Juventus 0-2 Chelsea