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Dinamo and Juventus both chasing first win

Juventus kept up their record of never losing on matchday one and will now be looking to secure a first victory in Group H when they visit Dinamo Zagreb, who started with a defeat.

Marko Pjaca has a quick return to Zagreb with Juventus
Marko Pjaca has a quick return to Zagreb with Juventus ©Getty Images

After maintaining their record of never losing on matchday one, Juventus will be looking to secure a first victory in Group H when they visit GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

• This is a first meeting between the teams on the European stage and an immediate reunion for Marko Pjaca, who left Dinamo for the Turin club in the summer.

Match background

• The Croatian champions started with a 3-0 defeat at Olympique Lyonnais.

• Last season's first home game in the group stage ended a 16-year Dinamo wait for a victory in the competition proper as they beat Arsenal FC 2-1. They lost both their other home matches, however, and all three away to finish bottom of Group F.

• The Croatian double winners have failed to qualify from the group stage in all five previous attempts. In fact, in all 12 previous UEFA club competition group stages – including seven in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League – they have yet to make it through to the next phase.

• Away form underpinned Dinamo's progress through this season's qualifying rounds. They prevailed 2-1 at FK Vardar in the second qualifying round (5-3 on aggregate) and 1-0 at FC Dinamo Tbilisi in the next stage (3-0 on aggregate).

• After a 1-1 draw at home to FC Salzburg in the play-offs they trailed in Austria until the 87th minute when Junior Fernandes forced extra time. El Arabi Hilal Soudani's strike then completed the victory.

• This is the first time Dinamo have encountered Italian opposition at home since the 2000/01 UEFA Cup second round when they edged Parma FC 1-0, going out on aggregate 2-1. Their three victories against Italian sides have come in Zagreb; their overall record reads P17 W3 D4 L10.


• The Bianconeri extended their unbeaten run in matchday one fixtures to 17 (W10 D7) with a 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla FC. Gonzalo Higuaín's header off the crossbar was the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock.

• The 2014/15 runners-up began last term's campaign with a 2-1 win at Manchester City FC. Their other group away matches produced a draw at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and a defeat at Sevilla FC, with Juve finishing runners-up in Group D behind City.

• In the round of 16 the two-time European champions drew 2-2 at home to FC Bayern München, succumbing 4-2 away in extra time.

• Juve have faced Croatian opponents on only one other occasion, drawing 0-0 at HNK Rijeka in the 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals. They won the home leg 2-0.

Coach and player links
• Pjaca signed for Juventus on 21 July after helping Dinamo to victory in their opening tie of the season, scoring two penalties in the 3-2 second qualifying round victory over Vardar.

• Pjaca played for NK Lokomotiva Zagreb between 2011 and 2014 where he was a team-mate of Mario Musa, Mario Šitum, Domagoj Antolić, Josip Pivarić and Domagoj Pavičić.

• Mario Mandžukić was a Dinamo player from 2007 to 2010, winning the Croatian title three times. He was a colleague of Antolić and Gordon Schildenfeld. Mandžukić had previously spent two years with NK Zagreb.

• Higuaín scored in Real Madrid CF's 6-2 pasting of Dinamo at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage. He also provided two assists.

• Šitum played in Italy with Spezia Calcio in Serie B between 2014 and 2016.

• Have played together:
Ángelo Henríquez & Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC 2012/13)

• International team-mates:
Pjaca, Mandžukić & Schildenfeld, Ante Ćorić, Antonijo Ježina, Antolić, Marko Lešković (Croatia)
Miralem Pjanić & Armin Hodžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Match facts

• The 5-2 loss at HNK Rijeka on 18 September, Dinamo's third successive defeat, prompted the resignation of coach Zlatko Kranjčar.

• Under caretaker Željko Sopić, Dinamo recorded a 5-0 win at amateur outfit NK Veli Vrh in the Croatian Cup round of 32 two days later, Dani Olmo scoring twice.

• Filip Benković's second of the season settled the capital derby on Friday as Dinamo triumphed 1-0 at NK Lokomotiva Zagreb.

• Angelo Henríquez's goal against Veli Vrh was his first in 19 appearances, a run dating back to 3 April.

• Juventus suffered their first defeat of the season when they lost 2-1 at FC Internazionale Milano on 18 September, despite taking the lead through Stephen Lichtsteiner. It was only their second Serie A reverse in 32 games.

• Three days later, the Old Lady responded with a 4-0 home victory against Cagliari Calcio – it was Juve's 1,500th Serie A win.

• Daniele Rugani and Dani Alves scored their first Juventus goals versus Cagliari, while Higuaín registered his fourth since arriving from SSC Napoli.

• A deflected drive from Alves gave the Bianconeri a 1-0 win at US Città di Palermo on Saturday. Juan Cuadrado replaced the injured Rugani after 33 minutes for his first appearance in Juve colours since rejoining the club on loan from Chelsea FC.

• Claudio Marchisio and Stefano Sturaro are yet to play this season as they recover from knee injuries, although the latter was on the bench in Palermo. 

• Medhi Benatia (thigh) and Evra (knee) missed the Cagliari game; Gianluigi Buffon (knee) was replaced by Neto at half-time. Buffon returned on Saturday, when Evra was an unused substitute. 

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