Wednesday UCL Preview: Juventus take strong lead to Barcelona, Dortmund face tough Monaco trip

Barcelona will need to produce another stunning Champions League comeback, as Juventus take a comfortable 3-0 lead to the Nou Camp as they bid to seal their spot in the semi-finals.

A Paulo Dybala brace and a Giorgino Chiellini header has put the Italian champions well in command of this tie, as they look a good bet to reach the semi-finals and maybe even go all the way to lift the Champions League for the first time in 21 years.

Juventus have one foot in the semi-finals after thrashing Barcelona 3-0
image: skysports.com

Barcelona came back from a 4-0 defeat in the first leg of their last 16 tie against PSG to reach the quarter-finals and will need another miraculous recovery to remain to course for an eighth semi-final in the past ten seasons.

Barcelona gaffer Luis Enrique is keen for his side to pull off another sensational comeback and plans to go out all attack from the get go, in a bid to extend their European winning streak at the Nou Camp to 16 games.

“There’s only one option: attack, attack, attack,” said the 46-year-old.

“This is a bit similar to the PSG match but in theory we need to score fewer goals. Instead of four, just three to square things. I think Juventus will have their chances, so our objective is to score five.

“Right now we have nothing to lose. If we score the first goal early, the atmosphere will help conjure a second and third. To the fans I say “don’t leave in the 80th minute because you’ll miss something, for sure.” This is another night to make history.”

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri was not giving much away on how he will instruct his boys to play ahead of their tough trip to Barcelona, but he did suggest they may approach it like any other fixture.

“We will go out to try and win again,” said the Italian.

“We have to be clever in choosing when to attack, when to defend. I guess Barcelona have not changed much in a week – they are full of potential, which is something we knew in Turin. We need to be smart. We need to be clear-minded, technical and not think of the scoreline.

“Perhaps we will adjust the tactics but I imagine they will be very minor changes. Barcelona have three quality strikers but I’m confident that my midfield and defence can contain them.”

Juventus scored revenge for defeat to Barcelona in the 2015 final
image: dailymail.co.uk

Team News

Barcelona welcome Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets back into the starting line-up after missing the first leg through suspension, as they aim to overturn a three goal deficit to reach the semi-finals.

Midfielder Javier Mascherano is fit for the second leg after shaking off a calf problem, while winger Arda Turan (groin) and defender Jeremy Mathieu (ankle) have also been passed fit. However, midfielder Rafinha (knee) and defender Aleix Vidal (ankle) are still out injured.

Juventus’ two goal hero Paulo Dybala is fit to start for Juventus ahead of the second leg against Barcelona, with the Argentine striker overcoming an ankle injury sustained in their 2-0 win over Pescara.

Croatian winger Marko Pjaca is still ruled out for the Serie A leaders with a knee injury, but otherwise head coach Allegri has a full strength squad to choose from for the second leg.

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