12 Feb, 13:30
Juventus look to continue their march to the Champions League title that evaded them last season when they host Tottenham in Turin on Tuesday.
In their way is a formidable Spurs side which shocked the football world when they walloped defending champions Real Madrid 3-1 in the second leg of their group stage clash last November.
Many argue that the true battle will not be between the two sides, but rather a tactical tussle between Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri and Tottenham chief Mauricio Pochettino, who will be looking to exploit their opponents’ shortcomings to their benefit.
Juventus will be heading into this clash of titans without star forward Paulo Dybala, who is expected to continue his six-week lay-off after sustaining a serious hamstring injury early last month.
Winger Juan Cuadrado and midfielder Blaise Matuidi are also expected to miss the fixture with groin and thigh injuries respectively. Winger Douglas Costa is, however, in contention to make the team after making remarkable strides in recovery.
The Spurs on the other hand boast of a fully-fit squad after defender Toby Alderweireld recently shook off a troublesome hamstring injury.
Pochettino will undoubtedly be spoilt for choice as the tactician will have more options in both attack and defence subsequently creating a high likelihood that the likes of forward Heung-Min Son and defenders Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies will be given the night off.
Juventus: Buffon; Sandro, Chiellini, Benatia, Lichtsteiner; Pjanic, Khedira, Marchisio; Mandzukic, Bernardeschi; Higuain
Tottenham: Lloris; Vertonghen, Sanchez, Alderweireld; Rose, Dembele, Dier, Aurier; Eriksen, Kane, Alli
Expect both teams to score as both squads boast of skilled offensive players capable of unlocking the tightest of defences.
I will, however, give the edge and thus the win to Juventus since the Serie A giants are a seasoned team, who knows what it takes to win having been to the finals of two of the last three editions of the highly-rated competition.