Sevilla is set to host the Italian Champions Juventus on Tuesday night at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in a battle for the top of the Group H. However, none of the two teams has secured the knockout stage, which only keeps the situation more interesting as the final two legs are on schedule. Sevilla tops the group H with 10 points (3 W and 1 D), while Juventus is ranked 2nd with 2 points behind. Lyon is ranked 3rd with 4 points, while Dinamo Zagreb is at the bottom with no points won so far.
The two teams played 0:0 in their first matchup in Torino.
FC Seville continues to improve from season to season. In 2016 they have been playing superbly on all fronts, La Liga and the UEFA Champions league. In the domestic competition, they hold the 3rd spot, while topping the group H in the Champions league, ahead of the likes of Juventus and Lyon.
With only two more games to play in the group stage, Seville needs only 1 point to reach the knockout stage, which at the same time, would mean that they will not continue their triumphal streak in the Europe league, which they have conquered for the past three consecutive seasons.
They have recorded a very important 3:2 away win against the Deportivo La Coruna, after being down 0:2, which only show their capabilities and the level of self confidence the team from Andalusia is playing with.
This will be the 4th time Seville encounters Juventus, collecting 1 win and 1 draw, while also suffering 1 loss. Overall against the Italian teams, the RojiBlancos have played 9 games (3W,2D,4L). At home they are unbeaten against the visitors from Italy (2W and 2D). Coach Sampaoli will have doubts regarding Fernandez and Samir Nasri, who are questionable for the clash against Juventus.
Juventus was expected to top the group H after 4 games played, but considering their performances, it is safe to say that they can be more than happy with the 2nd place. However, if they manage to take all three points on Tuesday, they could end up being the group leaders, knowing that they will host Dinamo Zagreb in the final leg.
Nothing new is hapenning in the Italian Seria A, as Juventus is sitting comfortably at the top of the domestic competition, with 7 points clear of the closest rivals, only indicating that they could go on and win another title. In the last round of the domestic competition, Juventus recorder a convincing 3:0 win at home. With a 2:1 win over Chievo week before, Juventus has been on a 5 game streak without a defeat, which should be more enough to boost the confidence level, entering the decisive match against Seville. Looking at the current standings in Group H, it is interesting to see that Juventus has drawn both games at home, while being victorios both times when playing as visitors.
The Old Lady has met Spanish teams in 50 different occassions, collecting 17 wins, 13 draws and 20 losses. Barzagli, Pjaca, Dybala and Lichsteiner remain sidelined with injuries.
Although none of the two teams has reached the knockout stage yet, I expect a very open game and a lot of goals on both sides, so look for both teams to score at least once. However, the final score could end with a draw.
FC Sevilla expected lineup: S.Rico – Mariano, Rami, Carrico, Escudero – N’Zonzi, Iborra – Vitolo, Vazquez – Vietto, Ben Yedder
Coach: Sampaoli Jorge
Juventus expected lineup: Buffon – D.Alves, Bonucci, Chielini, Evra – Khedira, Marchisio – Cuadrado, Pjanic, Sturaro – Mandzukic
Coach: Allegri Massimiliano
Sevilla vs Juventus
UEFA Champions League – Group H
Date: Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016,
Kick-Off at 20:45 CET,
Venue: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan at Seville.