Juventus travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United for their Champions League showdown on Tuesday night, and it promises to be a fascinating encounter.
The Bianconeri dropped their first points of the Serie A campaign at the weekend after being held by Genoa at home, and so it wasn’t ideal preparation for them.
Nevertheless, given the quality and experience running through their side, they’ll undoubtedly be ready for a game of this magnitude with Jose Mourinho and United desperate to pick up a win after being held by Valencia last time out in the race to finish top of Group H.
After serving his ban, Cristiano Ronaldo will be available to face his former club as the 33-year-old looks to add to his tallies of five goals and five assists in 10 games so far this season.
Mario Mandzukic has been ruled out with an ankle injury and so Paulo Dybala could step in as one of three changes to replace him, with defensive stalwart Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi coming in too after being left on the bench at the weekend.
Ronaldo and Dybala haven’t entirely clicked just yet since his summer move from Real Madrid, but given the attacking quality and creativity between the two, it would be no surprise if they continue to adjust to each other’s respective game and become more effective in the weeks ahead.
Coupled with the creativity and solidity offered in midfield by Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi as well as the experience and steeliness from Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the heart of the backline, the Italian champions will arrive in Manchester hopeful of coming away with a positive result.
United have conceded 16 goals in just nine games in the Premier League, giving them the worst defensive record of the top 12 sides in the standings. With that in mind, that should be a boost for the likes of Ronaldo and Dybala to know that there will be holes that they can exploit and so perhaps attack will be the best form of defence against the Red Devils.
Probable Juventus XI (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala. (as per Sportmediaset)