Juventus will be looking to overcome a defeat from last weekend when they turn attentions to the Champions League game against Porto.
Juventus visit the Estadio do Dragao as they take on Porto in the Champions League first leg of the round of 16 on Wednesday evening. The Bianconeri have lost each of their last two first leg last 16 meetings in the European Cup, but this time, with a better team, they will be looking to draw first blood on their visit to Portugal.
Andrea Pirlo’s men were narrowly beaten in the Serie A by Napoli last weekend as they lost further ground in the title race. However, their main objective remains the Champions League, a trophy which they have thirsted to win for over two decades. Having said that, the Italians have a fully fit squad barring Arthur Melo, who is carrying an injury.
Wojciech Szczesny is expected to start in goal over Gianluigi Buffon. The Polish and Italian shot-stoppers have been interchanged very often this season and so predicting who starts in goal is a difficult task. Nonetheless, the ex-Arsenal man could be given the nod this time around ahead of a four-man backline for Juventus.
Alex Sandro is set to occupy the left-back’s role whereas Juan Cuadrado will play as the right-back. The South Americans will come in handy against the Portuguese side which is likely to sit deep and play on the counter-attack. From defensive and offensive standpoints, they could be two of Juve’s most vital players in this fixture.
Considering Porto’s mindset of playing long-balls, Juventus are set to play a central defensive pairing which will have good aerial prowess. For that reason, Matthijs de Ligt will be an inevitable starter and would be joined by Leonardo Bonucci in the heart of defence. The duo has ample experience as well and will look to thwart the home side well.
A four-man midfield is set to see Rodrigo Bentancur and Weston McKennie start in the central roles. While the Uruguayan’s defensive attributes are an asset to have, the American international is a proper box-to-box midfielder and will contribute to good effect at both ends of the pitch. Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa are expected to start outwide whilst switching flanks very often.
Pirlo’s attack will have two former Real Madrid men who have won numerous Champions Leagues. Alvaro Morata will line-up beside Cristiano Ronaldo in a strike partnership of two. Ronaldo has been the scorer of every knockout goal that Juve have scored in the European Cup since his arrival and unsurprisingly, all eyes will be on him to deliver in his home country.