Manchester United will be visiting Turin, as they are set to face Juventus in Champions League’s group stage match. The Group H is still interesting in terms of the standings and the match on Wednesday night could offer us a lot of answers in regard to both teams.
The first match in Manchester was a bit of an eye opener for the home side, getting a chance to realise how far behind top European teams they currently are. The match in Turin will be a good opportunity to offer a counterpoint in that discussion and here we will be taking a look into Juventus’ season so far
Close To Perfect Start
And it really has been near perfection. Juventus have 31 out of 33 possible points in Serie A this season and have won all three of their Champions League matches without conceding. There have been some smaller problems, like trailing 2-0 to Chievo and then winning the match late on. But since the opening match of Italian championship, the team has improved and now looks better with every passing game.
Their last three wins, against United, Empoli and Cagliari have all been in a typical Juventus way. They did not play with bags of swagger, they did not score incredible numbers of goals, but they won all three of them comfortably, without ever truly bringing up the question whether they will earn the three points.
And all of their numbers right now are realistic. They scored 24 Serie A goals in 11 matches, while their xG is 23.46. Juventus also conceded eight goals with xGA at 8.32, showing you just how effective their season has been. Cristiano Ronaldo is already at seven goals and five assists, while Mandzukic follows him with four goals and two assists in the league.
Juventus, as they have proven so far, are very flexible to change and alter formations. They can play a 4-4-2 like at Old Trafford, move to a 4-2-3-1 when necessary, or even change to the three-man defence, now that they have Leonardo Bonucci back at the club.
Cristiano And The Champions League Chase
Of course that the main stories regarding Juventus this season are bound to Cristiano Ronaldo. They got former Man United man for around 100 million euros and he started producing right away. Juventus would definitely be fine in Serie A even if he was not at their club, but that is not why they signed him. The Portuguese superstar is expected to be the man to lead them to the Champions League glory and the trophy they failed to win in 2015 and 2017 finals.
So far so good for Cristiano. He has 0.97 goals+assists per 90 minutes in all competitions this season. He has been very involved, too, with 7.14 shots per 90 and United will need to pay special attention to him. However, Ronaldo is still not in full power. It is similar to the first half of the last season – though he is better now than then – and he is expected to truly reach his highest levels in the spring when Juventus’ push for the Champions League trophy should be the strongest.