Juventus will commence their 2016/2017 Champions League campaign with a tantalizing clash against Sevilla at Juventus Stadium Wednesday evening.
In a rematch from the prior edition, the Bianconeri will again lock horns with Los Rojiblancos in the group stage. Sevilla, of course, have made a name for themselves in the Europa League, having won the past three editions. In fact, some are already speculating whether they will simply aim for third in their group so as to drop down to the Europa League, where they rule supreme, or if they will make a push to get out of their group this season.
Last time the two sides met, both teams split the difference. Juventus won 2-0 at home whilst Sevilla picked up a 1-0 result on their home turf. And both will be coming into this game having won over the weekend. La Vecchia Signora brushed aside Sassuolo, whilst Los Rojiblancos pulled off an impressive comeback against Las Palmas.
That being said, Sevilla have played some entertaining football, but there are some major concerns for Jorge Sampaoli’s side. They overcame Espanyol in a ten – yes, ten – goal thriller, but failed to score against Villarreal. And they needed two late goals to dispatch Las Palmas. Meanwhile, keeping a clean sheet is another big problem, as they have conceded five goals in just three league games. By contrast, Juventus have scored six and conceded just twice.
In contrast to last term, Massimiliano Allegri’s men have had an excellent start to the domestic season. They have won three in three, and their big signings – Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic, Dani Alves, and Mehdi Benatia – have been all solid. Higuain has already begun to justify his mammoth price tag with three goals in three games, including a well-taken brace during the win over Sassuolo. Their squad depth is exemplified by the fact that Sami Khedira is the second highest scorer on the team with two goals to his name. Although they will be missing key midfielder Claudio Marchisio due to injury, Juventus have more than managed without the Italian international but will be an even better side once he returns to full health.
Sevilla, on the other hand will be coming into this game with several players not available. Benoit Tremoulinas, David Soria and Michael Krohn-Dehli all sit out due to injury, whilst Timothée Kolodziejczak is banned. Like their opponents, they’ve won their past three games, and it will be very interesting to see which side strikes first blood in what should be a very entertaining clash in Turin.