The former Serie A champion derives his strength from the small successes these days. After beating Empoli 4-0 last Friday, the team achieved two consecutive Serie A victories for the first time this season. Eighth is Juventus at the moment. “We made progress. Just being able to keep up with the pace in the second half is a good sign,” said Massimiliano Allegri. The Juventus coach said his eleven now looked “more like a team”.
Juventus lost 2-1 at home to Benfica in the first leg. The matches against Haifa resulted in a home win (3:1) and an away defeat (0:2). The performance at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon is doubly important, according to Allegri: “We’re not out of the Champions League yet and we haven’t qualified for the Europa League yet.” It is important to be confident. As usual, Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa, who are working on their comeback, will not be present.
Recently, nine years ago, under Antonio Conte, Juventus failed to get a promotion in the first-class group stage. Benfica’s form also speaks against Torino. The hosts, led by coach Roger Schmidt, who was appointed in the summer, did not lose in 19 official matches. In the Champions League, “Adler” and “Paris Saint-Germain” got eight points, while in the domestic league, Benfica scored 28 out of a possible 30 points.
Leipzig welcomes defending champion Real
The defending champions in Group F can take it easy, Real Madrid have already reached the Round of 16 ahead of the first leg against RB Leipzig (9pm). The Spaniards traveled to Leipzig without Ballon d’Or winners Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Fede Valverde. Benzema missed the 3-1 league win over Seville due to a muscle injury. Valverde injured his leg and missed the game. And the ex-world soccer player Modric was dismissed from the squad at the last minute, and Real did not mention the reasons for this.
David Alaba and Co. meet their first stalker. Leipzig is second in the group with six points. Shakhtar Donetsk follows with five points, and the Ukrainians – who visited Celtic Glasgow on Tuesday – welcomed the Saxons as guests on the last day of the match. RB coach Marco Rose said of the opponents’ failures: “There is still one or the other. We will meet the best team in the world.” Striker Timo Werner has returned to his team. Leipzig lost 2-0 in Madrid and conceded goals late.
Manchester City visit Dortmund
Also, Manchester City has already proven a jump in the list of the top 16 teams, in Group G, the “Citizens” play with the attacking star Erling Haaland in his former club, Borussia Dortmund. At the weekend, the Norwegian scored twice again in a 3-1 win over Brighton. “He can do it when he has a lot of space, but he can also do it when he has a little space. That’s the reality, it’s great,” said enthusiastic City coach Pep Guardiola.
In the 2-1 win over Dortmund in the first leg, Haaland scored the winning goal in a technical way. The German Bundesliga team (7 points) is on its way to occupying the second place in the European Champions League. Depending on the outcome of the parallel match between FC Sevilla and Copenhagen (2 points each), a draw might already be enough for promotion.
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