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Juventus size up Barcelona challenge

Juventus will be looking for a repeat of the devastating form they showed at home to Barcelona last season as the teams meet again in Turin on matchday five.

Paulo Dybala and Juventus celebrate victory against Barcelona in last season's quarter-finals
Paulo Dybala and Juventus celebrate victory against Barcelona in last season's quarter-finals ©Getty Images

Juventus have bounced back strongly from their matchday one defeat at FC Barcelona, and a repeat of the result in last season's quarter-final first leg would take the Bianconeri level on points with the Spanish side at the top of Group D.

• Barcelona avenged last season's last-eight loss with a 3-0 victory against Juve at the Camp Nou on the first matchday in September, and are three points clear at the top of the section with ten points.

Barcelona will be through as group winners with a draw. They will also qualify even if they lose should third-placed Sporting Clube de Portugal not win at home to Olympiacos FC.

• Juventus have seven points, three more than Sporting and six ahead of Olympiacos. They are through if they avoid defeat provided Sporting do not win.

Previous meetings
• Juve laid the groundwork for last season's elimination of Barcelona in Turin, where two goals from Paulo Dybala (7, 22) were supplemented by Giorgio Chiellini's strike (55). The second leg at the Camp Nou ended goalless.

• The line-ups in Turin on 11 April were:
Juventus: Buffon, Dani Alves, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Pjanić (Barzagli 89), Cuadrado (Lemina 73), Dybala (Rincón 81), Mandžukić, Higuaín.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Mathieu (André Gomes 46), Mascherano, Iniesta, Rakitić, Messi, Suárez, Neymar.

• The teams also met in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final in Berlin, where Barcelona triumphed 3-1 to take the trophy for a fifth time. Ivan Rakitić gave Luis Enrique's side a fourth-minute lead and, though Álvaro Morata levelled for Massimiliano Allegri's Juve ten minutes after half-time, Luis Suárez (68) and Neymar (90+7) sealed Barça's fourth success in ten years.

• The line-ups at the Olympiastadion on 6 June 2015 were:
Juventus: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra (Coman 89), Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal (Pereyra 79), Morata (Llorente 85), Tévez.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Rakitić (Mathieu 90+1), Iniesta (Xavi 78), Messi, Suárez (Pedro 90+6), Neymar.

• That was Barça's third victory over Juve, and their first since 1991. Then, Johan Cruyff's charges beat a Juventus side coached by Gigi Maifredi 3-1 at home in their European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final first leg with goals from Hristo Stoichkov (56, 60) and Jon Andoni Goikoetxea (76). They overturned Pierluigi Casiraghi's 12th-minute opener for Juve, who went out despite winning the second leg 1-0 with a 61st-minute Roberto Baggio strike.

• That was the clubs' second tie. The first came in the 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals when Barcelona again prevailed, Julio Alberto getting the only goal of the Camp Nou first leg. Barça struck first in the Turin return too, through Steve Archibald, and advanced despite Michel Platini's 44th-minute equaliser.

• However, Juve ousted the Blaugrana in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The first game in Turin finished 1-1, Javier Saviola's 78th-minute effort equalising Paolo Montero's 16th-minute breakthrough for the hosts.

In the second leg at the Camp Nou, Xavi Hernández's 66th-minute strike cancelled out Pavel Nedvěd's goal for Juve 13 minutes earlier and sent the tie to extra time, with Juve reduced to ten men by Edgar Davids's 79th-minute dismissal. With penalties looming, Juve substitute Marcelo Zalayeta got the decisive goal (114) to take the ten men into the last four.

• Barcelona hold a slight edge in the teams' ten encounters so far, having registered four wins, three draws and three defeats, with 13 goals scored and 10 conceded.

Match background

A 2-0 victory against Olympiacos and 2-1 win against Sporting on matchday three have stretched the Bianconeri's unbeaten home run in UEFA competition to 25 games (W16 D9), dating back to a 2-0 reverse against FC Bayern München in April 2013.

• Juve's overall home record against Liga opposition is W15 D8 L2. They are unbeaten in their last eight such matches (W5 D3) and have lost only one of the last 24 (W15 D8), against RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 2003/04 round of 16 (0-1).

• Juventus lost last season's final 4-1 to Real Madrid CF in Cardiff.

• This is an 18th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign for Juve, and a sixth in succession.

• The Italian outfit have reached the knockout rounds on their last three attempts, having finished third in their section in 2013/14.

• Barcelona's record away to Serie A clubs is W6 D9 L6. They are without a win in their last five trips (D3 L2).

• Barcelona were 1-0 victors at Sporting on matchday two but drew 0-0 at Olympiacos last time out. They have lost three of their last six away games in the UEFA Champions League, including the 4-0 defeat at Paris in last season's round of 16 first leg and the ultimately crucial 3-0 quarter-final first-leg loss at Juve. They have won five of their last 13 away matches in the competition, drawing three and losing five.

• This is Barcelona's record-equalling 22nd UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, and 14th in succession. They last failed to make the last 16 in 2000/01, although they did not take part in the 2003/04 tournament.

• The Blaugrana last failed to progress beyond the round of 16 in 2006/07; their last two campaigns have been ended in the quarter-finals, by Juventus last season and Club Atlético de Madrid in 2015/16.

Coach and player links
• Allegri suffered UEFA Champions League elimination against Barça in back-to-back seasons as Milan coach, in the 2011/12 quarter-finals (1-3) and the 2012/13 round of 16 (2-4). His full record in 11 games versus the Blaugrana is W2 D3 L6.

• Have played in Spain:
Mario Mandžukić (Club Atlético de Madrid, 2014/15)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid, 2010–15)
Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid, 2007–13)

• Have played in Italy:
Gerard Deulofeu (AC Milan, 2017)
Thomas Vermaelen (AS Roma, 2016/17)
Lucas Digne (AS Roma, 2015/16)

• Khedira scored Real Madrid's opener in a 2-1 Liga win at Barcelona in 2012, his only goal in 18 matches against the Azulgrana with VfB Stuttgart and Madrid.

• Higuaín played 18 times against Barcelona in all competitions during his spell at Madrid, notching three goals.

• Mandžukić got Atlético's goal from the penalty spot in a 3-1 Liga defeat at Barcelona on 11 January 2015.

• Lucas Digne was at Roma in 2015/16, scoring three goals in 33 Serie A outings and playing alongside Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanić.

• Have also played together:
Benedikt Höwedes & Ivan Rakitić (FC Schalke 04, 2007–11)
Gonzalo Higuaín & Javier Mascherano (River Plate, 2004/05)
Mario Mandžukić & Arda Turan (Clube Atlético de Madrid, 2014/15)
Blaise Matuidi & Lucas Digne (Paris Saint-Germain, 2013–15)
De Sciglio & Deulofeu (AC Milan, 2016/17)
Wojciech Szczęsny & Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal FC, 2010–14)

• International team-mates:
Sami Khedira, Benedikt Höwedes & Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany)
Gonzalo Higuaín, Paulo Dybala & Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano (Argentina)
Alex Sandro & Rafinha (Brazil)
Mario Mandžukić, Marko Pjaca & Ivan Rakitić (Croatia)
Blaise Matuidi & Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne (France)

•  Denis Suárez scored against Higuaín's Napoli as Villarreal squeezed past the Partenopei 2-1 on aggregate in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Samuel Umtiti was in Olympique Lyonnais' B team when Pjanić played for the senior side between 2008 and 2011.

• Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Mattia De Sciglio were in the Italy side and Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Andrés Iniesta featured for Spain in a 1-1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw in October 2016. 

• The Spanish quartet also played as Spain beat Italy 3-0 in Madrid on 2 September, with Buffon, Barzagli and substitute Federico Bernardeschi involved for the visitors.

• Chiellini struck first as Italy felled Spain 2-0 in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16. Buffon and Barzagli were also in the Azzurri side while Piqué, Alba, Busquets and Iniesta figured for Spain.

• Iniesta, Piqué and Busquets converted spot kicks past Buffon as Spain edged Italy 7-6 on penalties in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final.

• Alba fired Spain's second goal past Buffon in a 4-0 triumph over Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 final. Piqué, Busquets and Iniesta were also in the Spain team while the Azzurri included Barzagli, Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio.

• Bernardeschi netted Italy's goal in a 3-1 defeat by a Spain side including Deulofeu and substitute Denis Suárez in the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals in June. Daniele Rugani also played for Italy.

Match facts

• Juventus lost for the first time in seven games in all competitions on Sunday, going down 3-2 at Sampdoria. They had won five of their six previous matches.

• On target in that game, Dybala has scored 12 goals in 13 Serie A games this term, already surpassing last season's tally. It was only his second goal in his last seven league appearances, having scored ten in the first six.

• Also among the goals in Genoa, Gonzalo Higuaín has struck in each of his last five appearances for Juventus in all competitions, hitting six goals in all.

• Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli both sat out the Sampdoria match as they absorbed the impact of Italy's loss to Sweden in the FIFA World Cup play-offs. The duo have announced their international retirements, while Giorgio Chiellini says he could do the same but is yet to take a final decision.

• Mario Mandžukić helped Croatia qualify for the World Cup with a 4-1 aggregate win against Greece. Stephan Lichtsteiner, who is not in Juve's group stage squad, captained Switzerland to play-off success against Northern Ireland. Medhi Benatia scored as Morocco won 2-0 in the Ivory Coast to book their place in Russia.

• Juan Cuadrado, who has scored two goals in his last four Serie A outings, returned from international duty with a thigh problem but recovered in time to start at Sampdoria.

• Yet to make his Juventus debut after joining in the summer and then suffering a thigh injury in training, Benedikt Höwedes is now fit.

• Juventus won 6-2 at Udinese on 22 October despite playing with ten men from the 26th minute when Mandžukić was sent off.

• Buffon and Dybala are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. The winner will be announced on 6 December.

• Gerard Piqué is available after a one-match ban. Nélson Semedo will incur a suspension with his next booking.

• Barcelona are unbeaten in 17 matches in all competitions, winning 15, and have kept 12 clean sheets during that run including five in their last six matches.

• Luis Suárez scored twice in Saturday's 3-0 league win against CD Leganés, the first time he has managed more than one goal in a club game this season.

• Lionel Messi has 19 goals in 23 outings for club and country this term.

• Messi is just three away from 100 UEFA Champions League goals.

• Ivan Rakitić played every minute of both play-off legs as Croatia beat Greece 4-1 on aggregate to reach the World Cup finals.

• Jordi Alba and Andrés Iniesta both scored in Spain's 5-0 friendly win against Costa Rica on 11 November. Three days later, Alba struck again in the 3-3 friendly draw against Russia. Both his goals came in the opening nine minutes.

• Messi and Luis Suárez are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, the winner of which will be revealed on 6 December.

• Ousmane Dembélé will miss the rest of the group stage with a hamstring injury sustained against Getafe CF on 16 September.