Barcelona expect 'intense game' against Juventus — UCL

Barcelona and Juventus have an exciting recent history with Barca defeating Juve in the 2015 Champions League final. "Archigoles" (as he's still known in his adopted city) doesn't make those kind of statements lightly. Miralem Pjanic seems to be flourishing for having a more industrious, hard-working type next to him in the shape of Blaise Matuidi, who has hit the ground running, playing box-to-box with a kind of energy and determination that I haven't seen in a while.

The versatile midfielder sat out Barca's 5-0 win against their local rivals on Saturday but trained on Sunday.

New big-money signing Ousmane Dembele will be hoping to make his first start for the Catalan side after coming on as a substitute against Espanyol during the 5-0 win at the weekend.

On the few occasions Ernesto Valverde's revitalized team actually parted with the ball, they were utterly ferocious in winning it back.

'Winning the Champions League can't be an objective, it's a dream.

High-level pressing, which is consistent, organized, efficient and effective, certainly requires tremendous physical fitness.

"But one thing is simple". If just about every single player isn't fully onboard, fully committed and completely reliable then sooner or later, the system will fail and break down.

To some extent, both clubs are still experimenting on how to replace such important players. The fourth spot in defense is for the undecided right back. He feels that especially with Iniesta in place, there is no need for him to drop so deep, so he does his damage in the last third. That being said, this side is at home and they are filled with many talented players so I think they should be ok. "If you have Dybala in the team, then the team starts to play..."

But Gabi is now 34 years old and entering the twilight of his career, forcing Simeone to contemplate the future of his team without his skipper.

Get in touch with your thoughts! Think about that. It was literally startling in context of how little any of his teammates, or his coach, expect that of him.

Obviously, Messi and Suarez are untouchable up front.

Please let me convince you that when his teammates see Messi doing that, it affects them massively. That's what he brings to Real Sociedad, personality and quality.

Juventus managed to keep Messi quiet in both legs last year. Iniesta's experience will be of major importance so him starting the match is a must.

Mario Mandzukic has been left out of Juventus' squad for their Champions League meeting with Barcelona on Tuesday.

"Barca have also started the season well and they, along with Real Madrid, are favourites to win the Champions League". Around 35 million euros ($42 million) has been banked by Basel from the Champions League and Europa League in the last three seasons - the same amount clubs in Switzerland's top two divisions are expected to share this season from television and marketing revenue.

It makes them dangerous, too.

  • Ricardo Clara