Juventus have to win their remaining two matches to retain any hope of qualifying from Group H, starting with Tuesday’s clash when they travel to the Estadio da Luz in Portugal to face an in-form Benfica at 20:00 GMT.
Can Benfica Seal Qualification from Group H with a Win Over the Italian Side?
Roger Schmidt’s flying Benfica charges will be looking to seal qualification from Group H ahead of early favourites Juventus with a win over the side from Turin on Tuesday.
Benfica will focus on their performance characterized by high intensity, a high tempo, and controlled and tactical passing.
With this match coming after the 0-1 win away to title rivals Porto on Friday, Benfica will be highly confident and motivated to finish their job on matchday 5.
Roger Schmidt will look to maintain their fine balance between defensive solidity and a devastating attack; this will be crucial against a Juventus side looking to make amends.
Can Juventus Keep Hope of Qualification Alive with an Away Win?
Massimiliano Allegri and his embattled charges will be looking to turn their form around and retain chances of qualifying from Group F when they face Benfica at the Estadio da Luz on Tuesday.
With a solitary win and three defeats, the Old Lady are on the verge of elimination from Group H, and they will need a win to retain any hopes of qualifying heading into matchday 6.
Allegri will focus on his side’s defensive solidity playing away from home. The Turin side have been uncharacteristically open at the back this season while their attack has largely been blunt. Fixing this flaw will be a priority for Allegri.
Benfica are unbeaten in their Champions League group stage outings so far this season. They have won twice against Maccabi Haifa (2-0) at home and Juventus (1-2) away in Turin. They also have two draws, which came in their doubleheader against PSG (1-1) at home and (1-1) away in Paris.
Roger Schmidt’s charges have collected 8 points from the available 12. They are currently level on 8 points with Group H leaders PSG.
The Portuguese league leaders have scored six times in their four outings in Group H while conceding three times. This underscores the balance they have achieved between attack and defence in their matches in Europe.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men have been in wretched form so far in their Group H campaign. The Old Lady have won just once in the home clash against Maccabi Haifa (3-1).
However, Juventus have lost the remaining four matches to sit third in Group H, level on points with Maccabi Haifa at the bottom. They lost in matches against PSG (2-1) in Paris, Benfica (1-2) in Turin, and Maccabi Haifa (2-1) away from home.
Allegri’s charges have scored just five goals in their four outings while conceding 7 times in the process. This exposes their struggles at the back and their failure to realize a balance between defence and attack.
Possible Starting Lineups
O. Vlachodimos; Alex Grimaldo, N. Otamendi, A. Silva, A. Bah; E. Fernandez, F. Luis; F. Aursnes, R. Silva, J. Mario; G. Ramos
W. Szczesny; D. Rugani, L. Bonucci, Danilo; J. Cuadrado, W. McKennie, M. Locatelli, A. Rabiot, F. Kostic; D. Vlahovic, M. Kean
Players to Watch
The 21-year-old academy product has a close connection with Benfica and has started this season in flying form. Ramos has notched six goals and one assist in nine appearances for Benfica.
The forward will be crucial on Tuesday as Benfica will seek to pick their way through a robust and solid defensive structure posed by Juventus.
Since Benfica will seal qualification with a win, the onus will be on them to get the breakthrough and Ramos will be important in this endeavour.
The Serbian striker has been Juventus’ main source of danger with his seven goals and an assist in 14 appearances for the Old Lady this term.
The 22-year-old will be important for Juventus as they seek to keep their qualification hopes alive with a win away to Benfica.
Benfica will seek to impose their style on Juventus with the domination of the ball and progressive passing through midfield.
Juventus will seek to be disciplined and pragmatic in their approach. They will also look to hit Benfica through quick transitions or the ball behind the defence for Vlahovic.
A draw is the likely result in this massive clash for both sides.
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