This season’s UEFA Champions League brings with it new hope, and few clubs will see themselves better equipped to challenge than Juventus.
With the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, I Bianconeri have brought in the competition’s highest goalscorer of all time. The Portuguese superstar turns into a different animal in the Champions League, with 120 goals in 153 games highlighting his fascination.
Personally lifting the trophy five times, Ronaldo will look to inspire his new club to their first since 1995/96.
Here’s how Juventus could lineup for their opener against Valencia:
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Mattia Perin (GK) – Brought in from Genoa this summer, Perin has played second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny. However, this game should see his competitive debut for I Bianconeri, as coach Max Allegri has hinted at goalkeeper rotation for European nights.
Joao Cancelo (RB) – Returning to his old stomping ground, Wednesday should be a special one for Cancelo. Three years with Los Che before joining Juve, the Portuguese man is well on the way to establishing himself as one of the world’s best full backs.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – Returning after being rested against Sassuolo, the club captain is heralded as a hero in Turin. While age may no longer be on his side, Chiellini’s leadership and experience is second to none.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – Back after his less than successful spell at AC Milan, Bonucci is doing a decent job at regaining the trust of loyal fans. His return into Juve’s back line has been seamless, renewing an enviable central partnership with Chiellini.
Alex Sandro (LB) – The Brazilian has been with the club for three years now, and is one of the first names on his manager’s team sheet. Offering pace, strength and stamina, Sandro has everything you could possibly want in a modern day defender.
Emre Can (DM) – With Sami Khedira having played every Serie A game so far, it’s likely Emre Can will deputise on Wednesday.
Blaise Matuidi (CM) – World Cup winner Matuidi is a versatile midfielder, with his selfless style allowing others to roam. Probably starting this one in the central area, his dynamism can offer more width if necessary.
Miralem Pjanic (CM) – Much like Chiellini, Pjanic was granted a breather on Sunday, as he watched the match from Juve’s bench. The Bosnian sets I Bianconeri’s tempo, with Valencia needing to be wary of his technical and tactical intelligence throughout.
Paulo Dybala (AM) – A tough start to the season has seen Dybala struggling to find his place in this side. The addition of Cristiano Ronaldo has pushed the Argentine slightly deeper, and it will no doubt take time to adjust. Nevertheless, when he is on form, Juventus are undeniably a better side.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – Breaking his scoring duck against Sassuolo, Ronaldo returns to Spain and will face one of his favourite opponents. While in the all white of Real Madrid, Cristiano scored an impressive 15 goals in 18 games against Valencia.
Mario Mandzukic (ST) – The feisty Croat has formed quite the partnership with his Portuguese counterpart, their styles more complementary than many would have expected. The pair have linked up well since Ronaldo’s arrival, and Valencia’s defence will need to be on high alert.