Juventus FC (2nd, 3pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 3pts)
Competition/Round: 2020-21 Champions League, Group G, Matchday 2
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Marc-André ter Stegen, Philippe Coutinho, Samuel Umtiti, Matheus Fernandes (out)
Juventus Outs & Doubts: Cristiano Ronaldo, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Matthijs De Ligt (out), Leonard Bonucci (doubt)
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 4pm ET, 1pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
VAR: Kevin Blom (NED)
How to watch on TV: TUDN (USA), BT Sport 3 (UK), Canal+ Sport 3 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
Following a bad defeat to Real Madrid in the first El Clásico of the season, Barcelona are right back in action for their second Champions League group stage match away to Juventus at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday night.
But the game doesn’t feel like a big deal at all right now. The Barcelona news are dominated by the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who has decided to quit along with his entire executive board, a decision that fans have wanted forever. It’s finally done, and yet things couldn’t feel more hopeless right now.
It’s impossible to expect the new board to change things for the better right away after all the damage done by the previous administration, the squad is still filled with giant egos who can’t really contribute in the same way but demand the same treatment, and the financial situation is REALLY bad right now.
Barça’s future looks bleak unless something dramatic happens, and for now the only hope is for Ronald Koeman and his team to find some consistency and start playing well and winning big games, which they haven’t done yet. Beating Juventus is a good start, and maybe they can get a good enough win to bring some kind of positivity.
But it won’t be easy. Juventus are nearly unbeatable at home, and despite a crazy amount of injuries to their defense the Bianconeri will be very dangerous in attack despite not having Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be missing out after failing to provide a negative COVID-19 test. Andrea Pirlo is off to a nice start in his managerial career, and Juve will play hard and try and take advantage of Barça’s inconsistency.
It feels like the future of the club is at stake on Wednesday night. Another bad loss to a big team in Europe and pessimism will kick in real fast.
Let’s dance, I guess?
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Neto; Roberto, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, De Jong; Griezmann, Pedri, Fati; Messi
Juventus (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Demiral, Danilo, Frabotta; Kulusevski, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Dybala, Morata
I just can’t trust this team right now, though I do think they’ll be able to score goals against such a weakened Juventus defense: 2-2 draw.