Juventus made an encouraging start under new manager Andrea Pirlo when they launched their Serie A title defence with a convincing 3-0 home win over Sampdoria. However, their momentum seems to have fizzled off since then.
The Bianconeri have managed to win just one of their next four league games to find themselves in fifth place in the league table. However, Juventus are one of three unbeaten teams in the Italian top flight this season, with table toppers AC Milan and third-placed Sassuolo being the others.
5 reasons why Juventus could struggle against Barcelona
Juventus opened their 2020-21 Champions League campaign last week with a 2-0 win at Dynamo Kiev but without their prolific scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, the Bianconeri seemed to lack bite up front.
In their second game in the competition, the 1995-96 Champions League winners welcome La Liga giants Barcelona to Turin in a blockbuster clash. The Catalan giants are coming off a 3-1 home loss against Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season but had a convincing 5-1 win in their Champions League opener against Ferenvaros.
On that note, let us take a look at five reasons why Juventus could struggle against Barcelona:
#1 The Lionel Messi factor
Lionel Messi is arguably one of the greatest players to have graced the game. The diminutive Argentinian, who is one of two players to have scored over 100 goals in the Champions League, arrives in Turin after becoming the first player in the competition to score in 16 consecutive seasons.
Even though Messi has not yet hit full throttle this season, he will relish the opportunity to face Juventus, a team against whom he has scored twice in five games in the Champions League.
The Barcelona captain scored a brace in Barcelona's 3-0 home win over Juventus in a group-stage game in the 2017-18 edition of the competition. However, the player drew a blank in the return game in Turin, something he would be itching to rectify on Wednesday.
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#2 The form of Barcelona's prodigious teenager Ansu Fati
Barcelona's teenage sensation Ansu Fati has already scored twice in the Champions League this season. His brace against Ferencvaros last week made the 17-year-old the youngest player to score two goals in a Champions League game.
Fati has grown by leaps and bounds since breaking into the Barcelona first team last season.
Under new manager Ronald Koeman, the young player has become a permanent fixture in the starting XI. Last weekend, Fati became the youngest player to score in El Clasico history, even though his efforts were not enough to help Barcelona thwart a home defeat.
The 17-year-old is one of the most promising teenagers in world football at the moment. Fati's scorching pace down the flanks and composure in front of goal could be tough to handle for a Bianconeri backline that has conceded four goals in six games in all competitions this season.
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