Preview: Juventus vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups, 26 October 2020, 19:44
Preview: Juventus vs. Barcelona - prediction, team news, lineups

Arguably the standout fixture of the 2020-21 Champions League group stage takes place in Turin on Wednesday night as Juventus host Barcelona in a repeat of the 2015 final.

Coronavirus may deny fans a much-anticipated reunion between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but it will still be a star-studded occasion between two clubs with legendary figures as their new managers, both looking to make their mark.

Match preview

© Reuters

Wednesday's mouth-watering showdown will be Juventus' 200th Champions League outing and victory would see them become the first Italian team to chalk up 100 wins in the competition - both landmarks which they would relish reaching against a team of Barcelona's quality.

Andrea Pirlo will not need reminding about his last showdown with the Blaugrana, which also happened to be his final appearance in a Juventus shirt as Barcelona beat the Italian giants in the 2015 Champions League final.

Now the World Cup winner is in the Juventus dugout and preparing for his first Champions League home game as a manager, and he does so with questions already being asked of him.

Pirlo was something of a surprise appointment considering he had only taken over as Juve's Under-23s coach days earlier, and the team's results and performances have not been entirely convincing so far.

The perennial Serie A champions, who are gunning for a 10th straight title domestically, currently only sit fifth after five games of the campaign, having dropped points in three of those already.

© Reuters

Only a 77th-minute strike from Dejan Kulusevski prevented Pirlo from suffering his first defeat as Juventus manager at the weekend, and they have now drawn three of their last four Serie A outings, including sharing the spoils with Crotone and Hellas Verona.

The Bianconeri were not entirely convincing on matchday one either, although Alvaro Morata 's second-half brace got their Group G campaign off to a winning start away to Dynamo Kiev.

Of course, the absence of coronavirus-infected Ronaldo has not helped their cause and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will undergo a test 24 hours before kickoff to determine his availability for this match.

Juve will justifiably expect to seal their place in the knockout rounds once again, but it is their double-header against Barca which is likely to determine first and second spot, and subsequently an easier route through the knockout rounds.

The Italian giants have won their last four Champions League home games and have only lost four of their 42 European outings at the Allianz Stadium, although three of those have come in their last 10 such matches.

© Reuters

The hosts may feel that this is the best possible time to face a Barcelona side still reeling from such a tumultuous 2019-20 campaign on and off the field.

New boss Ronald Koeman initially looked to have steadied the ship by beating Villarreal and Celta Vigo by an aggregate scoreline of 7-0 in his first two games at the helm, but crisis has quickly engulfed the club once again since.

Amid a backdrop of wage rows and dressing room divisions, Barca have picked up only one point from their subsequent three La Liga outings, including back-to-back defeats at the hands of Getafe and, on Saturday, Clasico rivals Real Madrid at Camp Nou.

A home defeat to your biggest rivals is always a significant blow, and one that leaves Barcelona once again in a state of flux within weeks of the start of a new era.

The Catalan giants sit 12th in La Liga after five games, already seven points off the pace-setters and with only seven points to their name.

© Reuters

A convincing matchday one victory over Ferencvaros, when five different players were on the scoresheet, is their only victory in their last four outings across all competitions, but they will face a much sterner test in Juventus.

Barca have never won away from home against Juventus, although their overall record against Italian teams is far more impressive - no defeats in their last six and just two defeats from their last 18.

The Spanish giants have a formidable record in the group stages too, going undefeated in their last three campaigns and losing only one of their last 17 such matches on the road.

However, in European matches as a whole Barca have only won six of their last 17 away games, and they have not won one by more than the odd goal for over two years now.

Considering their form heading into this one, hopes will not be too high of that changing here, although this is a contest between two European giants who are used to winning a lot more frequently than they have managed so far this term.

Juventus Champions League form: W

Juventus form (all competitions): WDWDWD

Barcelona Champions League form: W

Barcelona form (all competitions): WWDLWL

Team News

© Reuters

All eyes will be on Ronaldo and whether he can return a negative coronavirus test, which would clear him to play against Barcelona and Messi for the first time since leaving Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in his last 20 appearances versus Barcelona in all competitions, not to mention being the all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League, ahead of perennial rival Messi.

Juventus have plenty of other injury concerns elsewhere, though, with Giorgio Chiellini limping off on matchday one to join Matthijs de Ligt on the sidelines.

Both players are expected to miss this match too, while Alex Sandro 's continued absence further limits their defensive options.

Paulo Dybala was handed a rare start at the weekend and will hope to keep hold of his place in the team regardless of whether Ronaldo is ready to return.

Barcelona, meanwhile, will be without the suspended Gerard Pique after he was sent off in the 5-1 victory over Ferencvaros on matchday one.

Samuel Umtiti is also still short of match fitness, meaning that Ronald Araujo is likely to partner Clement Lenglet at the heart of the defence.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen 's continued absence further weakens Barcelona's rearguard, with Neto expected to get the gloves again, while at the other end Philippe Coutinho is also out with a hamstring problem.

The in-form Ansu Fati will start again alongside Messi, who is the only player to have scored more goals than Ronaldo in the Champions League group stages.

There will be familiar faces on both sides too, with Miralem Pjanic and Arthur having swapped between these two clubs during the summer and Neto having also played for Juve in the past.

Juventus possible starting lineup:

Szczesny; Demiral, Bonucci, Danilo; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, Cuadrado; Ramsey; Dybala, Morata

Barcelona possible starting lineup:

Neto; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Pjanic, De Jong: Dembele, Messi, Fati: Griezmann

Head To Head

This will be the 14th competitive meeting between these two sides, 11 of which have come in UEFA competition with Barcelona just about edging the head-to-head record.

Juventus have failed to even score in the last three meetings, but they are unbeaten in their six previous home game against Barca - their joint-best undefeated total against a side in European competition.

The two sides were most recently paired together in the 2017-18 group stages, when Barcelona won 3-0 at Camp Nou and drew 0-0 in Turin.

We say: Juventus 2-1 Barcelona

Barcelona still have quite a few of the players that won the 2015 final against Juventus, but as a team they look a million miles away from being able to scale the heights of European football again at the moment.

Juventus have not been in great form themselves as they continue to find their feet under Pirlo, but they seem in less trouble than Barcelona and so we are backing them to come out on top on Wednesday - particularly if Ronaldo is passed fit too.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.

Top News
today at 05:09
Jurgen Klopp out? Liverpool fan quizzed on possible sacking as he rants about German boss taking Reds BACKWARDS One frustrated Liverpool fan sensationally claimed Jurgen Klopp has progressed the club as far as he can - with the German now taking the Reds backwards!
today at 05:06
Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups Borussia Dortmund host FC Koln in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the home side looking to close the gap between themselves and leaders Bayern Munich for a second successive matchday.
today at 04:57
Zinedine Zidane hints at new deal for Lucas Vazquez Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has suggested that Lucas Vazquez will soon sign a new deal at the Bernabeu. The 29-year-old has made 215 appearances for Madrid in all competitions but his contract with Los Blancos will expire next June, and there has recently been speculation surrounding his future.
today at 04:57
Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups West Bromwich Albion welcome Sheffield United to The Hawthorns on Saturday night in a battle between the Premier League's bottom two.
today at 04:54
Preview: Union Berlin vs. Eintracht Frankfurt - prediction, team news, lineups Union Berlin will endeavour to continue their charge up the Bundesliga table when they play host to Eintracht Frankfurt at Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Saturday afternoon.
today at 04:35
Everton Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly keen to bring Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira to Goodison Park during the January transfer window.
today at 04:27
Preview: Everton vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups Leeds United take on Everton in the Premier League on Saturday evening seeking a rare victory at Goodison Park.
today at 04:26
Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are reportedly both keen on signing Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud during the January transfer window.
today at 04:13
Liverpool ready to sell attacking duo in January? Liverpool are reportedly prepared to sell both Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri during the January transfer window in order to raise funds for new signings.
today at 04:06
Diego Maradona Mauricio Pochettino was left 'broken with pain' upon learning of Diego Maradona's death.
today at 03:38
Christmas gift ideas for sports fans for different budgets, from books, to Diego Maradona and boxing t-shirts, Clive Tyldesley Christmas shopping is likely to be slightly different this year, with non-essential shops closed and more people than ever picking up presents online.
today at 03:27
Pep Guardiola: Pep Guardiola switched focus to the Premier League after Manchester City eased into the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.
today at 03:26
Thursday What the papers say Everton are mulling a triple swoop for Tottenham players, with goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga and midfielders Dele Alli and Harry Winks in their sights, according to Football Insider.
today at 03:25
Anton Ferdinand hits out at Football Association over John Terry case Anton Ferdinand has criticised the Football Association's handling of his high-profile racism case against John Terry, saying he "didn't feel like the victim" when speaking to investigators from the governing body.
today at 03:24
On This Day: Portsmouth name Avram Grant as head coach Avram Grant was named Portsmouth boss on this day in 2009, marking his return to management for the first time since Chelsea's Champions League final defeat to Manchester United.
today at 03:16
Anton Ferdinand critical of Football Association over John Terry racism case, claiming investigation made him Anton Ferdinand has hit out at the Football Association's handling of his high-profile racism case against John Terry, saying he 'didn't feel like the victim' when speaking to the governing body's investigators.
today at 02:44
Diego Maradona left his mark on many as Mike Tyson mourns Football lost one of its greatest players on Wednesday, as Diego Maradona passed away at the age of 60.
today at 02:33 rounds up all the latest transfer news and football gossip, and pays our respects to Diego Maradona…
today at 01:58
Diego Maradona meant a lot to fans as thousands in Argentina and Naples turn out to mourn death of football icon and lay flowers and light candles by murals Football fans in Argentina and Naples were visibly distraught by Diego Maradona's tragic death.
today at 01:57
Thursday With all eyes fixed on the January transfer market, clubs around the UK and Europe are already lining up potential mid-season moves.
today at 01:10
Thursday A frustrating summer transfer window has now closed with Manchester United having missed out on a number of their top targets, including Jadon Sancho.
yesterday at 20:17
Dundalk vs Rapid Vienna predictions for Thursday's Europa League tussle in Ireland. Dundalk are still searching for their first points ahead of their clash with Rapid Vienna.
yesterday at 19:42
Bayer Leverkusen vs Hapoel Be'er-Sheva predictions for Thursday's Europa League clash at BayArena. After easing to a 2-4 success in Israel three weeks ago, Leverkusen should encounter few problems when they entertain Hapoel in this week's reverse fixture.
yesterday at 17:09
Braga vs Leicester City predictions for Thursday's Europa League contest in Portugal. Leicester can secure a place in the next round of the competition with a win against Braga.
yesterday at 17:08
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Villarreal ahead of this Europa League clash on Thursday. The visitors head here looking to continue their brilliant record in this competition.
yesterday at 16:50
Lille vs AC Milan predictions ahead of this clash in the Europa League on Thursday evening. Can Lille end their long wait for a big European win at home?
yesterday at 16:49
Tottenham Hotspur vs Ludogorets predictions for Thursday's Europa League tussle in North London. Spurs are favourites to beat Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets for the second time this month.
yesterday at 16:43
Napoli vs HNK Rijeka predictions as Napoli chase a win in a close-race for qualification. Can they claim a vital victory?
yesterday at 16:23
Rangers vs Benfica ahead of this Europa League clash on Thursday. The Gers are aiming to record a big victory by seeing off Benfica and taking control of top spot.
yesterday at 14:31
AZ Alkmaar vs Real Sociedad predictions ahead of this clash in the Europa League as these two look to gain a major advantage at the top of the group.

Top Matches

2.15 | 3.51 | 3.53
Today at 11:00
CSKA Moscow
1.93 | 3.80 | 3.75
Today at 12:55
AC Milan
2.59 | 3.35 | 2.78
Today at 12:55
4.98 | 4.09 | 1.65
Today at 12:55
SC Braga
3.64 | 3.65 | 2.00
Today at 12:55
Sparta Praha
3.31 | 3.82 | 2.08
Today at 12:55
3.31 | 2.90 | 2.63
Today at 13:00
AZ Alkmaar
Real Sociedad
4.20 | 3.87 | 1.81
Today at 15:00
Bayer Leverkusen
Hapoel Beer Sheva
1.12 | 8.90 | 18.82
Today at 15:00
4.99 | 4.18 | 1.64
Today at 15:00
HNK Rijeka
1.10 | 9.84 | 25.91
Today at 15:00
1.75 | 3.96 | 4.43
Today at 15:00
2.18 | 3.48 | 3.35
Today at 15:00
Today at 15:00
VFL Wolfsburg
Werder Bremen
1.81 | 3.86 | 4.66
Tomorrow at 14:30
5.59 | 4.20 | 1.64
Sat 28 Nov, 07:30
4.61 | 4.07 | 1.78
Sat 28 Nov, 09:00
Borussia Dortmund
FC Koln
1.22 | 6.80 | 13.14
Sat 28 Nov, 09:30
Union Berlin
Eintracht Frankfurt
2.56 | 3.61 | 2.83
Sat 28 Nov, 09:30
VFB Stuttgart
Bayern Munich
8.86 | 6.25 | 1.31
Sat 28 Nov, 09:30
Manchester City
1.18 | 8.11 | 14.85
Sat 28 Nov, 10:00
Dynamo Kyiv
Vorskla Poltava
Sat 28 Nov, 10:00
Atletico Madrid
4.78 | 3.83 | 1.80
Sat 28 Nov, 10:15
2.11 | 3.43 | 3.87
Sat 28 Nov, 11:00
Akhmat Grozny
Lokomotiv Moscow
2.34 | 3.17 | 3.38
Sat 28 Nov, 11:00
9.44 | 5.80 | 1.33
Sat 28 Nov, 12:00
2.00 | 3.85 | 3.77
Sat 28 Nov, 12:30
4.22 | 3.31 | 2.06
Sat 28 Nov, 12:30
Shakhtar Donetsk
7.92 | 5.09 | 1.36
Sat 28 Nov, 12:30
12.70 | 7.14 | 1.21
Sat 28 Nov, 12:45