Juventus prepare for the trip to the Stade de Suisse as they face BSC Young Boys in the final game of the Champions League group stages.
Despite the Bianconeri winning four out of their five games in the Champions League so far, and therefore having already guaranteed their qualification, this game still carries importance as it could decide who finishes top and therefore who – should – receive the easier draw. Juventus’ only loss in the competition came at home to Manchester United, as a result the Red Devils only sit two points behind Juventus so should the Bianconeri loose and Manchester United win away at Valencia, Juventus will drop down to second.
The hosts Young Boys have struggled in their first ever Champions League campaign and stand no chance of even finishing third in the group. They have still failed to register a win, loosing four games and drawing one. However they are in fine form in the league, opening up a 19 point lead at the top of the table at the halfway stage, a league campaign much similar to that of Juventus in the Serie A.
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Wednesday 12 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20.00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stade de Suisse|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 4|
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri will be able to choose from nearly a full strength squad for their visit to Bern. The only anticipated absence is Andrea Barzagli while full back Alex Sandro faces a late fitness test.
Allegri would have been pleased to see Emre Can return at the weekend against Inter, after enduring a spell on the sidelines due to an ankle injury. Juventus’ front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic have been in great form recently but with tough fixtures coming up in the league, Allegri may take this opportunity to rotate his front three.
Douglas Costa has made the majority of his appearances this season off the bench and Federico Bernardeschi has just returned from injury so they may be the replacements should Allegri choose to rest some personnel.
The home side are without some key players. Young Boys will be without Ivorian holding midfielder Sekou Junior Sanogo who is banned due to picking up too many yellow cards in his team’s opening five games. Young full back Jordan Lotomba and central defender Steve von Bergen are also doubts and it is unlikely, given there is not much to be gained for the home team, that manager Gerardo Seoane will risk them.
|Young Boys||Von Ballmoos; Seydoux, Lauper, Camara, Benito; Fassnacht, Aebischer, Bertone, Sulejmani; Assale, Hoarau.|
|Juventus||Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Benatia, De Sciglio; Can, Pjanic, Bentancur; Costa, Dybala, Bernardeschi.|
Head to Head Record
These two teams have only met once before and that was earlier this year when they played in the second game of the group stage. The reverse fixture ended 3-0 to Juventus as Dybala scored a hat-trick.
If Juventus are to win on Wednesday it will be the first time they have won five out of their six group stage games since they did it consecutively in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
There are also personal records up for grabs as should Dybala score a hat-trick he will be only the second player to manage one against the same team in the same Champions League season. The first player of course was Luiz Adriano for Shakhtar Donetsk vs. BATE Borisov in 2014-15.
Juventus have won each of their last five games while keeping a clean sheet. This was true last weekend when they beat rivals Inter 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium due to a second half Mandzukic goal. The statistics suggest this is unlikely to change on Wednesday.
In his 81 games managing in the Champions League, Allegri’s sides have kept 37 clean sheets, a rate of 46%. Only Diego Simeone (54%) and Fabio Capello (48%) have a better record when managing over 50 games in Europe.
The Bianconeri have been close to unstoppable this season. They sit eight points clear of Napoli in second and have won 14 out of their 15 league games. They have also scored the most goals in the league this season (32) and conceded the least (8).
Young Boys have been equally impressive with their form in the league. They have won 15 out of their 17 league games and sit 19 points clear of rivals FC Basel in second. They, too, have scored the most goals domestically (53) and conceded the least (19). They are also bound to be in a buoyant mood having won their last game against third place FC Thun in the last minute resulting in a 3-2 win. They were also able to beat Basel away from home in the game before that in a comfortable 3-1 win.
|St Gallen 2-3 Young Boys (11/11)||Milan 0-2 Juventus (11/11)|
|Youngs Boys 1-0 Lugano (24/11)||Juventus 2-0 SPAL (24/11)|
|Manchester United 1-0 Young Boys (27/11)||Juventus 1-0 Valencia (27/11)|
|Young Boys 3-1 FC Basel (02/12)||Fiorentina 0-3 Juventus (01/12)|
|FC Thun 2-3 Young Boys (08/12)||Juventus 1-0 Inter (07/12)|
The hosts have not won a home game in any stage of the Champions League in their history and it is unlikely to end now. Even should Allegri choose to rotate his squad, Juventus should still have far too much quality for the home team to live with.
Prediction: Young Boys 0-4 Juventus