Juventus v Manchester United Preview
Manchester United face their toughest test of the season so far, as they travel to Turin to face Juventus in the UEFA Champions League.
United will be looking to improve on their performance at Old Trafford when the teams last met.
Despite only losing 1-0 Jose Mourinho’s side were totally outplayed and registered just one shot on target in the first half.
Juventus are unbeaten this season and have an imperious home record in Europe, having lost just once at the Allianz Stadium in five years.
That defeat came against Real Madrid in last season’s quarter-finals.
The Turin giants know they only need a draw to book their place in the knockout stages.
Meanwhile, Manchester United know a defeat could see them slip out of the top two qualifying positions, if Valencia defeat Young Boys at the Mestalla.
Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellani and Diogo Dalot remain sidelined for Manchester United.
Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to feature having missed training on Tuesday morning. However, both Alexis Sanchez and Jessie Lingard who both missed October’s match against Juventus, are part of the matchday squad.
Should Alexis feature, it will be his 50th appearance in the Champions League.
Paul Pogba looks set to line-up against his former club for the first time since returning to Old Trafford in August 2016.
For Juventus Federico Bernardeschi, Moise Kean, Douglas Costa and Emre Can are all out.
Mario Mandzukic, Giorgio Chiellini, Blaise Matuidi and Joao Cancelo have returned to training and could all feature on Wednesday night.
The last time these two sides met in Turin, Manchester United won 3-0 in 2003. A double from Ryan Giggs and a goal from Ruud Van Nistelrooy helped secure the victory.
However, the most famous meeting in Italy between Juventus and Manchester United came in 1999 in the Champions League semi-finals.
United were 2-0 down after just 11 minutes and looked to be heading out of the Champions League.
But goals from Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole helped secure a famous comeback and book United’s place in the Champions League final for the first time in 31 years.
Juventus (4-4-2) Szczesny, Alex Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci, Cancelo, Matuidi, Pjanic, Bentancur, Cuadrado, Dybala, Ronaldo
Manchester United (4-1-4-1) De Gea, Shaw, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Martial, Rashford, Sanchez
This is a big test for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho will be delighted if they can escape with a point.
You would say if United defended like they did last season, they would have a shot at keeping the Turin giants out.
However, United have been so open at the back against lesser sides in the Premier League that looks unlikely.
Juventus have been flying this season dropping just two points all season in Serie A.
They also have the added incentive of booking a place in the knockout stages with two games to spare.
This is a pivotal week for Manchester United with the Manchester Derby on the horizon on Sunday.
It could also be the week which shows Mourinho how far Manchester United are away from winning both at home and abroad.
Having said that I believe that this will be a tighter game that most are predicting but Juventus will find a way to win.
Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Manchester Utd
Photo credit to Dickson Dagogo via Flickr