Juventus vs Dinamo Zagreb Preview: The Bianconeri looking to top group in style

Juventus vs Dinamo Zagreb Preview: The Bianconeri looking to top group in style

Massimilliano Allegri's Juventus team will look to progress to the round of 16 with another strong performance against Ivaylo Petev's Dinamo Zagreb

ninad-barbadikar
Ninad Barbadikar

Matchday six of the UEFA Champions League will see Group H leaders Juventus take on Dinamo Zagreb, who are bottom of their group and have been unable to win any of their games in Europe this season.

The two sides met at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb in late September for their first game,which was a comfortable one for Massimiliano Allegri's men as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners in the away fixture.

Now the two teams face off on the final matchday at the Juventus Arena as Ivaylo Petev's Zagreb side hope to avoid the thrashing they received back at home.

Juventus hoping to end group stage with a flourish

Juventus have started off their 2016-17 UEFA Champions League campaign very well and are unbeaten so far as they hope to top their group and get an easier draw in the next round of the competition.

Out of the five games they've played so far, the Bianconeri have drawn the two games played at the Juventus arena and in those two games, they've only scored one goal, which is a worrying fact for Allegri going into this encounter against Petev's side.

The Turin-based club has been very strong on the road this season and all their victories have come away from home, including their visit to Zagreb which resulted in a comfortable 4-0 result for Allegri's men.

If Juventus manage to draw against Zagreb, it will mean they they will face a tougher draw in the knockout stages, Sevilla are still hot on Juventus's heels and could steal the top spot should the Bianconeri fail to defeat Dinamo Zagreb, something that Allegri will be sure to remind his players before the game.

Zagreb will hope to go out with some dignity

It's fair to say Dinamo Zagreb haven't had the best of campaigns this season in the Champions League and after losing all five of their matches in the group stages, Ivaylo Petev's men have nothing but pride to play for in their final encounter with Juventus away from home.

They are second in the Croation first football league standings, six points behind the leaders Rijeka who are still unbeaten in the league so far with eighteen games played.

Dinamo's struggles in front of goal in the group stages have been well documented, the Croatian side are yet to score in this year's champions league edition and by any luck and they look highly unlikely to change that going into the game against Juventus.

Team News and Predicted XIs

For Juventus, Dani Alves is still out injured until next year and the veteran Swiss Stephan Lichtsteiner hasn't been included in the squad, which leaves Colombian Juan Cuadrado to fill in the full back spot for the team. 

In the middle of defence, Allegri is still without his two star centre backs in Leonardo Bonucci as well as Andrea Barzagli who look unlikely to return any time soon, Daniele Rugani and Mehdi Benatia will look to deputise for this one.

Predicted XI(4-4-2): Buffon – Cuadrado, Rugani, Chiellini, Sandro – Khedira, Pjanic, Lemina, Evra – Higuain, Mandzukic

For Dinamo Zagreb, Petar Stojanovic returns from suspension and may return to the starting XI while Jonas faces a ban for this game

Zagreb will be missing Domagoj Antolic and Marko Leskovic due to injury for this one.

Predicted XI(4-2-3-1): Livakovic – Sigali, Schildenfeld, Pivaric, Benkovic – Machado, Pavicic, Situm, Cori, Soudani – Fernandes.


 

VAVEL Logo