UEFA Champions League Starting XI: Juventus vs FC Barcelona

When Barca and Juventus met at the Camp Nou in September, the Spanish outfit ran out 3-0 winners, a result the Italians will be eager to avoid again on Wednesday.

Rakitic is confident he will continue to share a dressing room with Messi but was unwilling to say so with absolute certainty.

Bartomeu says it's just a matter of "protocol" and finding the right moment to sit down with Messi to have the contract signed and the photograph taken. "Whenever he plays against Messi, these comparisons are always made, but they are two different players also physically".

However, all they need is a draw tonight to ensure they win the group. Suarez was off target with another effort, but Juventus probably had the better chances and this was not vintage Barca.

Ultimately Valverde was vindicated as Barcelona secured a 0-0 draw to ensure they will top the group.

Chelsea advanced to the knockout stage of the Champions League with a game to spare after beating 10-man Qarabag 4-0 on Wednesday, securing manager Antonio Conte's 50th victory in all competitions with the Blues.

But there are a few concerns too. Not only have they not really looked at their best in the Champions League this season, they haven't even shown their trademark dominance in Serie A either, sitting in third place and four points behind first-place Napoli. They have picked up only one point at home in the UCL as they were beaten by Chelsea and drew disappointingly with Qarabag.

A massive positive for Ernesto Valverde's men will be Barca's 17-match unbeaten streak, although this could very well be his side's toughest test yet in this run. The Old Lady lacked any real threat going forwards, but they are certainly capable of scoring against any team on their day.

Argentina's Lionel Messi gestures at the end of the goalless 2018 World Cup qualifier football match against Peru in Buenos Aires on October 5, 2017. They now have now a ten-point lead over their Madrid rivals after the stalemate in the derby and their easy win at Leganés.

Barcelona should have scored when Juan Cuadrado slipped and let in Lucas Digne but, instead of shooting, he tried to pass to Suarez and the Juve defence intercepted the ball.

In a first half lacking the quality expected of such a high-profile fixture, Brazilian Douglas Costa demonstrated early pace, forcing a save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen after two minutes at the Allianz Stadium.

Ultimately this was a premeditated, disciplined defensive performance from Barcelona, which is not a style that is often associated with the Catalan club.

(Derechos de autor © 2015. Todos los derechos reservados.)
 
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