Juventus’ showdown with Manchester United in Turin headlines Wednesday’s play in the UEFA Champions League.
It’s a huge game for the Red Devils, who have only taken four points from their first three fixtures. However, the Italian champions will be big favourites to grab a victory, as they dominated United in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford earlier in the competition.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid will look to keep up their encouraging start under Santiago Solari when they travel to Viktoria Plzen. The showdown between CSKA Moscow and Roma in the same group is another important fixture.
Here are Wednesday’s games in full, odds for the matches and a preview of a couple of standout games.
Given Juventus were able to control large portions of the clash between these two sides at Old Trafford, it’s going to be tough for United to pick up a result away from home.
While Paulo Dybala’s goal was the difference between the two sides in terms of the score, overall the Serie A champions looked to be the far superior outfit, as they held their opponents at arm’s length.
Per One Football, United manager Jose Mourinho was full of praise for the way in which the Italian outfit defended against his team:
The Red Devils are in a better place now than when they took on Juventus previously, stringing together successive wins in the Premier League. Anthony Martial is in red-hot form and has the attributes to pose any defence in the world problems at the moment.
Still, Juventus continue to march on at the top of Serie A, beating Cagliari 3-1 at the weekend to stay six points clear of Inter Milan and Napoli. On home soil, they are difficult to get the better of, and victory here would secure their spot in the knockout stages with two games to spare.
Having failed to find the net at his former team last time out, Cristiano Ronaldo will also surely be doubly determined to make amends in Turin.
Plenty has gone on at Madrid since these two sides last met in the Champions League. They were hammered 5-1 by Barcelona, sacked manager Julen Lopetegui and have shown some small signs of recovery with successive wins secured.
For Solari, this is another match that Los Blancos enter as heavy favourites. It’s his biggest test since taking charge, with the Czech team showing at the Santiago Bernabeu that they’re unlikely to be pushovers in a 2-1 loss.
Spanish football journalist Jason Pettigrove doesn’t think the team have made any major strides since the change of management:
Given the poor form of a number of key players, Solari may see this fixture as a chance to rest some established men and bring in some young options.
Gareth Bale has been enduring a tough time of late and was whistled by his own supporters as he struggled on Saturday. Luka Modric, meanwhile, still doesn’t seem to have recovered fully from a physical perspective after a draining FIFA World Cup.
Still, there is a clear quality gap between these two outfits, and Los Blancos will do just enough to pick up their third win of the group stages.