Juventus vs Atletico: preview and team news
All the latest news as Juventus host Atlético at the Allianz Stadium in matchday 5 of Champions League Group D.
Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri finds himself on the blessed way for a Champions League manager as he prepares his side to face Atlético Madrid in the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening: the Old Lady have already qualified for the knock-out stages and all that is at stake for the home side is top spot in Group D and a hypothetically kinder draw for the last 16. The pressure all lies with Diego Simeone, whose misfiring Atlético Madrid can still find themselves trudging the cruel path of the Europa League come March if the Argentinean fails to prevent any further slip-ups.
Defeat at Bayer Leverkusen placed an unwanted question mark over Atlético’s Champions League challenge and memories of the group stage exit the Rojiblancos suffered in 2017-18 will not lend any sense of calm to proceedings in Turin. Both Lokomotiv Moscow and Leverkusen can still overhaul Simeone’s side, who have only managed four wins in their last 10 fixtures in all competitions.
Juventus, meanwhile, coped with the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo against Atalanta last weekend, securing a 3-1 victory that may not have been as straightforward as the score line suggests but still maintained Sarri’s unbeaten run at the helm since taking over in the summer. Only three sides have taken points from Juve this season: Fiorentina and Lecce in Serie A and Atlético in the opening round of fixtures in the Champions League.
Atlético's scoring issues
Neither side has been scoring with abandon in recent weeks but the issue is more pronounced for the visitors, who have only managed more than one goal six times in 18 games in all competitions this season.
Ronaldo has been passed fit and it would be a brave punter indeed who would bet against the Portuguese adding to his tally of 25 goals in 32 games against Atlético on Tuesday. Simeone will have to place his faith in Álvaro Morata, who has kept the side afloat this season, and a moment of magic from the returning Joao Félix, who is not guaranteed to start after getting his first taste of action after missing six games with an ankle sprain in the 1-1 draw at Granada.
Juventus predicted XI vs Atlético
Szczensy; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi, Ramsey; Ronaldo, Higuaín.
Atlético predicted XI vs Juventus
Oblak; Arias, Hermoso, Felipe, Lodi; Lemar, Saúl, Thomas, Koke; Morata, Correa.
Juventus vs Atlético: injuries and suspensions
Sarri was given a boost when Federico Bernardeschi and Matthijs de Ligt passed late fitness tests but will still have to contend without Giorgio Chiellini, Marko Pjaca, Emre Can and Alex Sandro.
Simeone has serious issues in defence, where Mario Hermoso and Felie will continue in the centre in the absences of the injured José Giménez, Sime Vrsaljko and Stefan Savic. The Atlético manager has just five fit defenders in his squad and will also be without Diego Costa while Félix’s lack of match fitness may mean a place on the bench for Portuguese teenager with Ángel Correa starting alongside Morata.
What the managers said
Maurizio Sarri: “Against Atletico we need to have a game without making calculations. They are a difficult team to face and we need to think about how fundamental first place in the group is. What Simeone has done at Atletico is worth the praise.”
Diego Simeone: “It will be a great game against a very strong and demanding team. They have great players and have won all of their league and Champions League matches. We will need to take the game in the direction we want it to go”