The new Champions League starts on Tuesday evening 12 September at 8:45 pm directly with a topper. A Neymar-less Barcelona receives the Italian champion Juventus. It is the first game in group D in which the other teams Olympiakos Piraeus and Sporting Lisbon are the underdogs.
The meeting between the 33-time national champion of Italy and the number 2 of Spain had not been out of place in the final either. The two clubs have a rich history and the last few years have changed. In the 2015 Champions League final, Barcelona won the cup with the big ears after a 3-1 victory. Last year Juventus got his gram. In the quarterfinals in Turin, the Spaniards were treated to a whirling 3-0 defeat, making the return in Barcelona a formality. Barcelona looked powerless. This meeting is the first chance for sporting revenge for the Catalans.
Neymar will not show up in the Turin penalty area on Tuesday. The gap left by the top player Barcelona must be filled for the young Ousmane Dembélé. Dembélé came over 105 million euros from Borussia Dortmund last summer. The left winger brings promotions and many assists to Spain. In 32 games he was at the base of a goal 13 times. The task of the Frenchman is to feed the duo Messi-Suarez with passes and tight passes. But to make Neymar forget his productivity will have to increase because the six goals in the last Bundesliga season are not impressive figures.
Bonucci leaves behind defensive gap
Juventus also strengthened itself in an attacking way. Right winger Federico Bernardeschi came for 40 million from Fiorentina and left winger Douglas Costa came on rent from Bayern Munich. The most important change in the team of Massimiliano Allegri was the departure of central defender Leonardo Bonucci to competitor AC Milan. For years, the Italian, together with his countrymen Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, has been the heart of the Turin defense. As replacement, coach Allegri chose the first games of the season for his young fellow countryman Daniele Rugani in the center in the back. Against Barcelona, he has to choose between the talented 23-year-old defender or one of his older purchases Medhi Benatia (30 years) and Benedikt Höwedes (29 years). A difficult consideration for the coach especially when you consider that last season Barcelona scored 15 times in the group stage alone in Camp Nou. Juventus therefore has to go full steam ahead to close the back and bring a good result from Spain.
Casino Betting Barca – Juventus
Mr Green: Barcelona 1.80 Draw 3.65 Juventus 4.50
Kroon Casino: Barcelona 1.84 Draw 4.00 Juventus 4.40
Unibet: Barcelona 1.80 Draw 3.65 Juventus 4.50
Paddy Power: Barcelona 4/5 Draw 13/5 Juventus 10/3