Juventus will begin their Champions League campaign away to Valencia in an eagerly anticipated contest Here are our three key areas to this fixture.
Juve’s experience v Valencia’s lack of it
Juventus have been perennial achievers in the Champions League despite the fact that they have been unlucky not to win it in their last few attempts. They were eliminated in the last edition by eventual winners Real Madrid in the semi-final and they have invested heavily in readiness for the new season. The acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid was more than a clear indication of their intentions and they will be out to use their experience to achieve their goal.
Valencia for their part have not participated in the Champions League since the 2015/16 season. They have been paired with a tournament favorite and they will need to be at their utmost best to stand a chance here. Their lack of experience might work against them especially when facing an overly established side with better quality than them.
Cristiano Ronaldo v Kevin Gameiro
Ronaldo scored his first goals for Juventus over the weekend when they hosted Sassuolo on Sunday. He did it in style by scoring twice, once from close range and the other finishing off a quick counter-attack. He will be expected to provide leadership for Juve here, a role that he has done with distinction time and again throughout his illustrious career.
Valencia invested quite some money to bring in new signings ahead of their participation in the Champions League. They will be looking up to one of them in Kevin Gameiro to provide leadership in the final third. The Frenchman is not at his best as he is yet to score in the new season but he has sufficient experience having played with Sevilla before joining Atletico Madrid.
Juve’s current form v Valencia’s lackluster start
The Old Lady are in scintillating form after maintaining a 100% win rate from the start of the season. They have won four out of four, but they have been exposed defensively too. Three of those four fixtures have seen goals at both ends. That notwithstanding, they have the necessary mettle to navigate a difficult match and emerge on top.
Valencia for their part will be having a serious mental challenge to overcome considering their not so good start to the season. They are yet to win a match with three of their last four games all ending in draws. This is a cause for concern for Marcelino Garcia who will have a hard time stopping their visitors. Whether they can find a solution will remain to be seen.