Can Juventus win the UEFA Champions League?
Juventus have been a dominant force in Europe for several years now. Despite being unparalleled in Italy they have always had an insatiable hunger for Champions League glory which in recent years has grown, having reached two finals in four years.
In July, the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best players in the world, further cemented this notion. Cristiano brought with him the much-needed motivation and experience to Juventus for them to excel. After the first half of the season, Juventus remain unbeaten in Serie A with the 'CR7 effect' mainly being responsible for it. They also finished first in their group in the UEFA Champions League.
On paper, everything is in place for Juventus to win it all. However, in reality, this hasn't been the case. In several matches this season, Juventus have played sluggish football, barely edging past the opposition. The lack of creativity in midfield has mainly been responsible for this.
Juventus have had difficulty in scoring from open play as well, with a good amount of goals coming in from set pieces. With two ageing defenders, Chiellini and Bonucci, at the back Juve have also been vulnerable to counterattacks. Over-dependence on Ronaldo and Mandzukic for goals coupled with excessive possession with no real progress has made it strenuous for Juve to kill off games at times.
Despite being first in the group in the Champions League, they suffered back to back defeats in the final two games against a then dispirited Manchester United and a subpar Young Boys.
Now with the second half of the season underway, Juventus definitely need to wake up and sort out these issues as soon as possible if they are to progress any further in the Champions League.
The Bianconeri face a very strong and dangerous Atletico Madrid in the round of 16. They need to learn how to get the best out of Ronaldo. They need to learn how to kill off games quickly and play their football with a higher tempo.
With the amount of depth and quality the squad possesses along with Massimiliano Allegri, a masterful manager, Juve can surely fix these issues but the only question is, will they be able to fix them in time? For that, we'll have to wait and see.