Juventus: story so far, key players, why they can win

Juventus are one of only two unbeaten sides left in the competition and they boast the best defence bar none. Could this finally be 39-year-old Gianluigi Buffon's year?

Juventus players celebrate knocking out Barcelona
Juventus players celebrate knocking out Barcelona ©Getty Images

Story so far
The Italian champions have made serene progress, reaching the semi-finals unbeaten (only Real Madrid can match that) and with the best defence by some margin. They negotiated a potentially thorny group that included Sevilla and Lyon, and then amid the goals and excitement of the round of 16 they quietly slotted aside Porto 3-0. Impressively, they then shut out Barcelona by the same aggregate scoreline.

Record this season: P10 W7 D3 L0 F17 A2

Highlights: Juventus 3-0 Barcelona
Highlights: Juventus 3-0 Barcelona

Pivotal moment
Juventus faced an uphill challenge when their injury-ravaged team fell behind at Sevilla on matchday five – lose and their last-16 ambitions would be out of their hands. The hosts had Franco Vázquez sent off before half-time though, and thanks to two late goals Massimiliano Allegri's side eventually emerged 3-1 winners.

Why this is Juventus's year
That famed back line. In ten outings so far, the Bianconeri's cast-iron defences have been breached only twice, and if anyone was going to subdue Barcelona's fabled MSN it was Juventus's BBC of Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini. Defences win trophies: for all Real Madrid's headline-grabbing attacking antics last season, they also ended the campaign with the best defensive stats.

Main attraction: Gianluigi Buffon – The Italy goalkeeper is 39 now but showing no signs of slowing down. He has famously never won the UEFA Champions League – is this his year?

Five great goals from Argentina
Five great goals from Argentina

Rising star: Paulo Dybala – The arrival of Gonzalo Higuaín means the 23-year-old hasn't quite equalled his goalscoring return of 2015/16, yet his talent is undoubted – especially from the spot, where he has converted 15 in a row. Dybala's two first-leg strikes against Barcelona were decisive and helped earn him a new contract until 2022.

Unsung hero: Mario Mandžukić – The hard-working Croatian selflessly shouldered much of the attacking burden during Juventus's autumn injury crisis. His eagerness for playing time means he has broadened his game to provide another option on the left wing.

Top Fantasy points scorer: Dani Alves (55)

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