Barcelona vs Juventus: Spaniards to Oust Group D Rivals?
Barcelona take on Italian giants Juventus in their first Champions League match of the new season on Tuesday, September 12 – and it would take a brave man to back against Ernesto Valverde’s men in front of an expectant Camp Nou.
Neymar is no longer at the club but summer signing Ousmane Dembele has already shown glimpses of quality during his brief tenure. The former Borussia Dortmund man has settled well and he already has an excellent rapport with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Unsurprisingly, the hosts are clear favourites in the betting markets. At the time of writing, 888Sport are offering 8/11 for the Spanish side to emerge victorious and plenty of punters will be confident of another Barcelona triumph. Who knows, a return to the Champions League showpiece could be on the cards come next May.
For Juventus, this one is about damage limitation and the Serie A champions could sneak a point if they defend resolutely. Massimiliano Allegri’s new-look Juventus side is still very talented indeed and Gonzalo Higuain could be the difference maker on Tuesday evening.
The Argentinian bagged a goal in Juve’s domestic victory over Chievo this weekend and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him add to his tally in the coming days. At 5/4 to score during 90 minutes, he is well-priced in the markets and is worth a second glance.
Neutrals will be hoping for an exciting, open game of football and there could be plenty of goals if both sides go for the jugular. Juventus are a decent outfit but Barcelona are still a class above and the Spanish side can prove that on Tuesday night.
Winning the opening fixture of the group stages is vital for momentum and confidence; it would take a minor miracle for Barcelona to slip up here. If the game was taking place in Turin, things would be different but another Camp Nou triumph looks likely for Barca.