Juventus - Bayern Munich Preview: A clash of two giants in the Champions League

The Bianconeri welcome the German heavyweights to Turin for the first leg of an enticing knockout-round tie.

Juventus - Bayern Munich Preview: A clash of two giants in the Champions League
Image via Juventus.com

The last time Juventus and Bayern Munich faced off in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, the Italians lost 2-0 in both legs.

Max Allegri’s men will be hoping for a different outcome this time around when Bayern touchdown in Turin to do battle, confident that the team’s form and quality will help them overcome the club responsible for knocking them out of the competition just a few years ago.

While both teams have changed significantly since then, there is familiarity between the clubs.

Image via Martin Melssner/AP
Former Juve man Arturo Vidal will return to Turin with Bayern. | Image via Martin Melssner/AP


Two of Bayern Munich’s best played for Juve just last season. Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal and French attacker Kingsley Coman wore the famous black and white shirt last year before making moves to join Pep Guardiola’s squad. Vidal joined on a permanent transfer, while Coman’s deal is a two-year loan with an option to purchase at the end.

Vidal and Coman aren’t the only players in the tie to have suited up for the opposing squad as Bianconeri forward Mario Mandzukic used to wear the Bayern colors. In fact, Mandzukic scored one of the Bavarian’s four goals against Juventus in the last knockout round match-up between the two.

Past form

Despite a scoreless draw away to Bologna last time out, the Old Lady come into this game on a fine run of form. The Bianconeri have won 19 of the team’s last 22 games. What’s more, the team’s defense has been stellar. Opposing teams have found the net just seven times in the aforementioned 22 games. To top it all off, no team has scored on Allegri’s men in nine games.

Bayern themselves are in stellar form too though, with their win against Darmstadt at the weekend making it three wins in a row and 10 games unbeaten in all competitions.

Top Performers

So far this Champions League campaign, Paul Pogba has been the top performer for Juventus, according to WhoScored, who give him a 7.61 rating in Europe. The Frenchman paces the team with two assists in Europe, while averaging 3.5 shots per game.

In terms of goal scoring, Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata lead the team with two goals apiece. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Zaza have also netted for the Italians.

Unsurprisingly, Gianluigi Buffon has also been one of the team’s best in Europe. The legendary goalkeeper continues to be one of the world’s best shot stoppers, and has thrived with three clean sheets in the group stages. In total, Buffon has conceded a mere three goals in six European matches this season.

Notable absences

For Juventus, left back Alex Sandro and centre back Giorgio Chiellini will both miss the clash due to injury, so Allegri could go for the same backline that lined up against Bologna. That quartet was comprised of Lichtsteiner, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Patrice Evra.

Bayern, meanwhile, are also missing a number of defenders, with Jerome Boateng (adductors), Holger Badstuber (ankle) and Javi Martínez (knee) all ruled out. They could therefore opt for a back three, as opposed to a makeshift back four.