Barcelona, Clubs, Juventus, Story, UEFA Champions League

Ernesto Valverde has watched Barcelona’s 3-0 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Juventus so many times it has become “boring”.
Barca travel to Turin on Wednesday night for the first time since they were emphatically dumped out of Europe by the Serie A champions last season.
Head coach Valverde, appointed in the summer, was in charge of previous club Athletic Bilbao then but he revealed he has repeatedly rewatched the game to help his side prepare for their latest visit to the Allianz Stadium which could see them book a place in the knockout stages of this year’s competition.
“Of course I have seen it again,” he replied when asked about the loss during his pre-match press conference.
“I have basically seen that match over and over again because to prepare matches you need to see the previous ones and for tomorrow it’s true that the circumstances are quite similar, even if the stage (of the competition) is different.
“I have seen that video so many times it’s boring but I have to see it because we are preparing for the game tomorrow.”
A draw will be good enough for Valverde’s Group D leaders to reach the last 16, while a point could also see Juve progress, if Sporting Lisbon fail to beat Olympiakos.
Defeat for the LaLiga club, however, will leave them needing a draw when they host Portuguese club Sporting in their final group match in early December.
Valverde is expecting a reaction from Juventus after their surprise 3-2 Serie A defeat at Sampdoria on Sunday.
“When such a top club loses a match they want redemption immediately and then they will seize the very first opportunity,” Valverde added when speaking about the opposition.
“In general terms, in order to get rid of this burden on their shoulders, certainly they will be more dangerous and they will be fighting more than ever so we do expect them to be the best Juventus on the field but we are ready to face them.”
While unbeaten Barcelona lead the way in their domestic competition following 11 wins and a draw from 12 games, Juve are slightly off the pace in Italy and are currently four points behind leaders Napoli.
Despite a handful of poor results, Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri insists he does not have major concerns about his team and feels they can go all the way to the Champions League final for the third time in four seasons.
“We lost two games in Serie A (against Lazio and Sampdoria) and analysing the first part of the season, we need to improve our defensive movements, because we have conceded too many goals,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“In football, it’s results that count and not performances. We must be quicker to react, but Juve don’t have any big problems. We’ve scored 37 goals and conceded 14, it takes balance, and recently Juve always managed to mess something up and then recover.
“Juventus can reach the final again. First of all, let’s get past the group stage, then we can talk again in March.”
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Andrea Barzagli are expected to return to the Bianconeri starting XI after being rested at the weekend but midfielder Federico Bernardeschi has been ruled out by a thigh muscle problem.

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