Ronald Koeman details how summer swap deal can boost their Champions League hopes

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Most Champions League groups are going to feature at least two top quality teams, so the majority of sides would settle for simply managing to make it to the knockout stages.

If you want to win the competition then you are going to need to beat the best teams at some point, but nobody is going to turn down an easier draw as the competition goes on either.

Barcelona have had some chastening losses in the competition in recent years so Ronald Koeman needs to try and improve on that, but it’s going to be tough after being paired with Juventus in their group.

He was recently speaking to Barca’s website about a variety of things, but the Champions League draw came up and he makes an interesting point about the arrival of Miralem Pjanic:

“Juventus are showing every year that they have a strong team, with experience and a great player like Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Pjanic, who can give us a little more information about his former club.”

Pjanic arrived in a swap deal with Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo so both sides are going to have some intel, but you have to think Barca will be more unrecognisable this year.

Arthur went out on bad terms and he’ll be determined to get one over his former club so that could go either way, but it’s clear that Barca think Pjanic’s knowledge could give them an advantage here.

There will be the inevitable Ronaldo vs Messi circus surrounding the game, but a couple of wins for Barca will show they might have turned the corner.

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