FC Barcelona (1st, 15pts) vs Juventus FC (2nd, 12pts)
Competition/Round: 2020-21 UEFA Champions League, Group G, Matchday 6
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti (out)
Juventus Outs & Doubts: Merih Demiral, Giorgio Chiellini (out), Gianluigi Buffon (doubt)
Date/Time: Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Wednesday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Tobias Stieler (GER)
VAR: Bastian Dankert (GER)
How to watch on TV: TUDN (USA), BT Sport ESPN (UK), SONY TEN 2 (India), Canal+ Sport 3 (Nigeria), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain, others
Following a hugely disappointing loss to Cádiz at the weekend, Barcelona return to action in the Champions League hosting Juventus for the group stage finale at the Greatest Stadium on Earth.
After three good wins in a row, Barça proved against Cádiz that we should simply not expect any consistency out of this team. Cádiz were a Top 6 team coming into that match so this was a big game for Barça, and as they have done in every big game this season, Barça were terrible.
The attack was uninspired, the defense gave way too much space and Ronald Koeman made bad lineup decisions and substitutions. The only big game Barça have won this season was away to Juventus, but the Old Lady was full of injuries on defense and Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t play.
On Tuesday, Ronaldo and all the best defenders are back and Juve haven’t lost a game since that defeat to Barcelona in October. Andrea Pirlo is doing well in his managerial debut and Juve will bring their A-game to Camp Nou because they have a realistic chance of winning Group G.
For that to happen, they need to win by two goals starting at 3-1. A 2-0 loss still favors Barça because of some complicated math, but there’s a really good chance Juve are leaving Catalonia as Group G winners.
Barça have to step up in a big game, something they haven’t done all season. Everyone will see this as Messi vs Ronaldo, but I am personally much more interested in seeing all 11 players and even more importantly the coach get over themselves and work hard to prove they’re good enough to beat the big boys.
I would say let’s dance, but I’m worried this team can’t even crawl right now.
Barcelona (4-4-2): Neto; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Trincão, Pjanic, De Jong, Pedri; Messi, Griezmann
Juventus (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Chiesa, Arthur, McKennie, Ramsey; Morata, Ronaldo
Even though his career in Madrid conditioned me to not like him, I respect the heck out of Cristiano Ronaldo and expect a big night from him. Barça lose because they’re terrible at games that matter, but they still win the group: 3-2 Juve.