Both Juventus and Borussia Dortmund seek a return to Champions League knockout glory as they kickoff the first leg of their Round of 16 matchup Tuesday at Juventus Stadium in Turin.
Owning a comfortable nine point lead atop Serie A and in line for a fourth straight domestic title, Juventus haven’t been able to translate that success to Europe’s top competition of late. Massimiliano Allegri’s side has tasted the last eight only once since 2006.
Borussia Dortmund and manager Jurgen Klopp have the opposite problem. Dortmund only recently moved away from relegation danger with three straight Bundesliga victories but lost only one match in this year’s group stages and have made the final 16 for the third straight year.
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said to BBC Sport his squad needs to show up on the sport’s biggest stage, and represent their country as well.
"Our group is strong and has grown steadily over these past few years," Chiellini said. "Now we also want to show how far we've come on the European scene.
"We must approach the Champions League with enthusiasm, but at the same time be aware of the responsibility we have in flying the flag for Italy in Europe."
Juventus certainly have the firepower to advance with forwards Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morta notching a combined 20 goals this term, and Fernando Llorente and Alessandro Matri adding another 12 goals. Tevez also leads the squad with seven assists, and three of his goals have come during Champions League play.
Dortmund will counter with their top forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his nine goals and four assists, and top midfielder Marco Reus, who’s managed to pick up six goals and three assists despite rampant transfer and contract renewal speculation for much of the season.
Klopp also welcomes back some of Reus’s running mates in midfielders Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender, who are expected to make their first appearances in 2015.
Kickoff Time: 2:45 P.M. ET
TV Channel: Fox Sports 2
Prediction: Juventus over Borussia Dortmund, 2-1