Juventus Vs Tottenham: Expect A Tight Battle Between Two In-Form Sides
When the two sides met in a pre-season game in August, Spurs ran out as 2-0 winners. However, it will be a lot different when these heavyweights meet in this premier continental competition.
Last season’s runners-up, Juventus, host Tottenham Hotspur this Tuesday, in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie between the two sides, in the UEFA Champions League 2017/18.
Tottenham are coming back off a fantastic win against Arsenal in the North London derby.
The only goal of the game was scored by Harry Kane, who has a knack for scoring against the Gunners in recent years.
In the other game, Juventus won their away game in Serie A against Fiorentina thanks to the goals from Bernardeschi and Gonzalo Higuain.
Juventus vs Tottenham Champions League Preview
Juventus are unbeaten in their last 22 Champions League home games, winning 14 and drawing eight games in the process. This is their longest ever run without a defeat in the competition on home soil. Their last defeat at Turin in the Champions League came in April 2013, a 0-2 loss to eventual champions Bayern Munich.
The Italian side have lost only two of their last 19 matches in the Champions League, a 4-1 defeat in the final last season and a 3-0 defeat against Barcelona in the group stages earlier this season. They have won 12 and drawn five games in the process.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham are one of only four teams who are yet to be beaten in the Champions League this campaign, alongside Barcelona, Liverpool, and Besiktas. Spurs have reached the knockout stages of the competition for the second time in three appearances after 2010/2011. The London side have never progressed further than the quarter-finals.
In the group stage, Juventus were drawn with Spanish giants Barcelona, in the Group D, along with Sporting CP and Olympiakos. Massimiliano Allegri’s side got out of the group as runners-up, finishing below Barcelona. They managed 11 points in the group stage, having won 3, drawn two and lost one game.
Meanwhile, Spurs were drawn in one of the toughest group in the Champions League this season, in Group H along with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Greek side APOEL FC were the fourth side in the group. The English team played some fantastic football and finished at the top of the group, above defending champions Real Madrid.
A 3-1 win over Cristiano Ronaldo and company, at the Wembley, in the group stages, is one of Spurs’ best performances in European history. Despite being drawn in an adamant group, Mauricio Pochettino’s side managed 16 points in the group stage, which is at least a point more than any side managed in the group stages this season.
Over the years, Italian teams have always taken pride in defending and shown great prowess defensively in the Champions League. Allegri’s Juventus have been no different in recent years and have been impressive defensively. They have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 home games in the competition.
On average, Juventus have allowed just 2.3 shots on target per game, which is the lowest in the competition this season. At the other end, they have scored seven goals in the group stages this season, which is the lowest tally among the 16 clubs left in the competition.
Juve’s striker Gonzalo Higuain has struggled in the knockout games in the Champions League. The Argentine has scored just four goals in 27 Champions League knockout games which average to 0.15 goals per game, as opposed to 15 goals in 44 group games which average to 0.34 goals per game.
Tottenham’s hitman, Harry Kane, has been directly involved in 53% of Tottenham’s goals in the competition this season. He has scored six goals and assisted two of the 15 goals scored by Spurs in the group stage.
Juventus have been in sensational form coming into the tie. The Old Lady have won each of their last 11 games in all competitions, conceding just one goal in the process.
In the Serie A, they are currently top of the table with 62 points. Napoli who have played a game fewer, are second with 60 points. By the time, Juve face the English side, Napoli can overtake them.
Meanwhile, Spurs are unbeaten in the last 11 games in all competitions. They are currently fifth in the Premier League table with 49 points. Spurs who have already played against Manchester United and Liverpool in the league earlier this month will face North London rivals Arsenal on Saturday, before traveling Italy for the Champions League tie.
Argentine star, Paulo Dybala has been out since early January due to a hamstring injury. The 24-year old might not return in time to face Spurs. Juan Cuadrado has also been out since the first week of January. He is carrying a hip injury and is expected to return next month.
Blaise Matuidi is carrying a thigh injury. The Frenchman is reported to be out for three to four weeks. Benedikt Howedes is unlikely to feature due to his thigh injury.
Pochetino will not have to worry about the absence of his team as no player is out with injury or suspension.
Juventus vs Tottenham Key Stats
Juventus vs Tottenham Lineup (Predicted XI)
Juventus Lineup (4-3-3)
Defense: Lichtsteiner (RB), Benatia (RCB), Chiellini (LCB), Sandro (LB)
Midfield: Khedira (RCM), Pjanic (CM), Marchisio (LCM)
Tottenham Lineup (3-4-3)
Defense: Sanchez (RCB), Alderweireld (CB), Vertonghen (LCB)
Midfield: Aurier (RM), Dier (RCM), Dembele (LCM), Davies (LM)
Juventus vs Tottenham Prediction
One of the best strikers in Europe, Harry Kane, will be pitched against one of the best defensive teams in Europe in Juventus. Spurs themselves are excellent defensively. They have let in just four goals in the competition this season. We expect a tight, tense and cagey affair in Turin on Tuesday.
Our prediction for the game is a 1-1 draw.