After failing to win each of their opening four Serie A matches, with Massimiliano Allegri overseeing one of the club’s worst starts in 60 years, Juventus have since bounced back with successive 3-2 league victories against Spezia and Sampdoria.
Manuel Locatelli scored his first goal for the club to put the Italian giants 3-1 ahead against Sampdoria last weekend, before the visitors pulled one back in the 83rd minute through former Juve midfielder Antonio Candreva, to make it a nervy ending for the hosts. However, Juve held on to claim three much-needed points, which has helped them climb into the top half of the table.
In the midst of their disappointing domestic start, Juventus won their opening Champions League match in Group H earlier this month, securing a comfortable 3-0 victory away against Swedish outfit Malmo.
Their next opponent in Europe’s elite club competition could arguably not be any tougher, as they face holders Chelsea, who have lost only three of their last 32 Champions League group stage games.
Juve did, however, win their most recent meeting against the Blues, claiming a 3-0 home victory during the 2012-13 group stage, the year after Chelsea claimed their first ever Champions League crown.
In fact, the Italians have an impressive record against holders of the Champions League or the European Cup as it used to be known. Juve have won seven times, including four of their last five on home soil, with only Real Madrid (11) winning more in the competition’s history.
Juventus lost their last Champions League game against English opposition, suffering a 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United in November 2018. The Old Lady have never lost successive games against English teams and if they avoid defeat on Wednesday, then they will have a good chance of topping Group F by the end of this year.
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Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side headed into their mouth-watering clash against Manchester City last weekend confident that they could secure their fourth successive win against the reigning Premier League champions. However, the Blues were brought back down to earth as Pep Guardiola’s side produced an excellent performance at Stamford Bridge, coming away with a 1-0 victory.
The German head coach will not need to go back to the drawing board, though Sunday’s defeat is a gentle reminder of the task his side face in not only retaining their European crown, but also challenging for the Premier League title against such strong opposition