Champions League Preview: Juventus (A)


Borussia Dortmund travel to Turin on Wednesday for Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League to play Juventus knowing that a positive result will see them qualify for the First Knockout Round. Dortmund won the home match 2-1 a fortnight ago with goals from Marco Reus and Julian Schieber after both sides missed penalties in the opening quarter of an hour.

Andreas Beck is back in full training after missing five matches with a back injury, but isn’t guaranteed a start ahead of Julian Koch who has been in excellent form deputising at right-back. Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski are both long-term injuries, but BVB have no other concerns among the squad.

Surman is likely to stick with the same starting eleven that beat rivals Schalke 6-0 on Saturday, though Kostas Katsouranis may add some defensive capability to the Dortmund midfield should they drop a little deeper. BVB’s seven goals in the competition have come from six different players, with only Katsouranis scoring twice.

70-juventusSince defeat at Signal Iduna Park a fortnight ago, Juventus have won two of their three Serie A matches – including a 2-0 win at Roma on Saturday – but dropping two points against Udinese saw AC Milan overtake them at the top of the table.

Andrea Pirlo missed the match in Dortmund but is available this time round, though goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s injury setbacks continue to keep him out. After recovering from a cracked rib, he dislocated a shoulder on the training ground and faces a lay-off until the new year. Simone Pepe is available after suspension.

The clubs have met eight times competitively – Juventus winning four times to Dortmund’s three – though Dortmund have beaten their opponents twice in the last four months (one friendly). With Arsenal expected to beat Olympiakos at home, if Juventus fail to pick up three points they could be looking at dropping into the Europa League.

skybet95Juventus: 5-4F
Dortmund: 7-4
Draw: 11-5
Ref: Tom Henning Øvrebø (NOR)
Weather: Breezy, 9°C

On Matchday 4, Groups A-D play on Tuesday and Groups E-H play on Wednesday:

         Group A                            Group B
  FC Twente v. Spartak Moscow      Neftçi Baku v. Schalke
Inter Milan v. Stade Rennais             Porto v. København

         Group C                            Group D
Dynamo Kyiv v. Manchester Utd        Barcelona v. Paris St.G.
    Sevilla v. BATE Borisov          Tottenham v. Celtic
         Group E                            Group F
    Benfica v. Anderlecht        Dinamo Zagreb v. Basel
  Eindhoven v. Real Madrid         Zenit St.P. v. AC Milan

         Group G                            Group H
 St-Etienne v. Fenerbahçe              Arsenal v. Olympiakos
  B. Munich v. Manchester City        Juventus v. Dortmund