A rapid-fire series of defeats on the domestic front has left Juventus wounded, but Massimiliano Allegri’s side stand to turn things around against Sevilla in Champions League Group D play Wednesday at Juventus Stadium. Juve fell to 15th place on the Serie A table following a 2-1 loss to rival Napoli, and they’ve managed a mere five points in the first six matches with only six goals.
However, this is still largely the same group that reached last season’s Champions League final and already downed a blazing hot Manchester City side in the UCL opener two weeks ago.
The Italian side’s attack is led by forward Paulo Bybala’s three goals and Mario Mandzukic's two scores. Attacking midfielder Paul Pogba, who emerged last season as one of the world's best playmakers, has provided one goal and two assists in seven starts across all competitions. Allegri will also seek signs of life from forward Alvaro Morata, who has netted one goal off 11 shots.
On the backline, Allegri will have to reshuffle after defender Martin Caceres was in a car accident in Turin early Tuesday morning and allegedly under the influence of alcohol. The Uruguayan has been suspended, but former Real Madrid star Sami Khedira could make his debut in a Juve kit after he trained on Tuesday.
Sevilla have also managed to flounder in La Liga, but rallied in Champions League. Manager Unai Emery’s squad blasted Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 to start group play, highlighted by forward Yevhen Konoplyanka’s long-range strike in the 84th minute.
But Los Rojiblancos proceeded to lose their next two matches, and only just notched their first domestic victory over the weekend against Rayo Vallecano, 3-2. They will also be without Argentine Ever Banega, who is sidelined for a month with a right knee sprain.
But Sevilla do have the scoring prowess to keep up with Juve. Konoplyanka and forward Kevin Gameiro are tied for the team lead with three goals. Meanwhile, defensive midfielder Steven N’Zonzi provides Sevilla with plenty of stability.
Kickoff Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN2
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