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Football | Champions League

Big Match Feature: Juve v Spurs



Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur have never met before and both will know the importance of a positive result as they make acquaintance in Turin in the Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg.

Catch the action live on SuperSport and live streaming on DStvNow.

Tottenham have by far the less experience of the two – this is just their second last-16 tie – but will not want for confidence having finished top of a section including holders Real Madrid CF and collecting 16 points, more than any other team in this season's competition.

Juventus finished second behind FC Barcelona in Group D but are in the round of 16 for the ninth time and have plenty of recent knock-out pedigree, having reached the final in 2015 and 2017.

Match background

Juventus

The Italian side's record in the round of 16 is W5 L3. Twelve months ago they beat FC Porto 3-0 on aggregate at this stage (2-0 away, 1-0 home), having lost to FC Bayern München at the same stage in 2014/15 (2-2 home, 2-4 away after extra time).

Juve opened this season with a 3-0 loss at Barcelona but are unbeaten in their last five games (W3 D2), qualifying for the knock-out stages thanks to a 2-0 win at Olympiacos FC on matchday six.

At home in this season's competition, Juve have beaten Olympiacos 2-0 and Sporting Clube de Portugal 2-1, drawing 0-0 with Barça.

That stretched the Bianconeri's unbeaten home run in Uefa competition to 26 games (W16 D10), dating back to a 2-0 reverse against Bayern in April 2013. That is their only European defeat in 31 matches at the Juventus Stadium (W19 D11).

That Bayern defeat is also Juve's only home reverse in their last 24 knock-out games in Uefa competition (W15 D8), qualifying included. They won all three matches in Turin in the 2016/17 knock-out rounds.

Juve are on a six-match (W3 D3) unbeaten run against Premier League clubs, winning their last three fixtures – most recently a 1-0 home defeat of Manchester City FC in the 2015/16 group stage.

The Bianconeri's record at home to English clubs is W13 D5 L3.

Juve's record in two-legged knock-out ties against English clubs is W5 L8. They have lost the last five ties, most recently to Fulham FC in the 2009/10 Uefa Europa League round of 16 (3-1 home, 1-4 away).

Tottenham

The Lilywhites' only previous experience of the round of 16, in 2010/11, brought a 1-0 aggregate win against AC Milan (1-0 away, 0-0 home).

Mauricio Pochettino's side collected seven points from their two away games in Group H, winning 3-0 at APOEL FC and 2-1 at Borussia Dortmund either side of a 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid on matchday three.

The London club have nevertheless won only four of their last 14 European away matches (D4 L6).

Tottenham's 15 fixtures against Italian teams have ended W5 D6 L4 (W1 D3 L4 in Italy).

They boast a strong record in two-legged ties against Italian opponents: W4 L1. The sole defeat was a 3-1 aggregate reverse against ACF Fiorentina in the 2014/15 Uefa Europa League round of 16 (1-1 home, 0-2 away); they beat the Viola in their most recent game against Italian opposition, winning 3-0 at home at the same stage of the 2015/16 competition to complete a 4-1 aggregate success.

Coach and player links

Fernando Llorente played for Juventus between 2013 and 2015, scoring 27 goals in 92 games in all competitions and winning the Scudetto twice and the Coppa Italia once.

Llorente scored Sevilla's winner against Juve on matchday six in 2015/16, condemning the Bianconeri to second place in the group.

Juan Cuadrado played 13 Premier League games for Chelsea in 2015.

Wojciech Szczesny made 132 league appearances for Arsenal between 2010 and 2015. He faced Spurs eight times (W4 D2 L2).

Erik Lamela scored 19 goals in 62 Serie A matches for AS Roma between 2011 and 2013, with the record W1 D1 L2 against Juve. He was sent off in a Coppa Italia 3-0 defeat in 2012.

Lamela was in CA River Plate's youth system when Gonzalo Higuaín was playing for the Argentinian giants between 2005 and 2006.

Toby Alderweireld scored in AFC Ajax's 2-0 win at Massimiliano Allegri's AC Milan in the 2010/11 Uefa Champions League group stage.

Harry Kane and Eric Dier both scored as England defeated 3-2 a Germany side including Sami Khedira in a March 2016 friendly.

Italy, featuring Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, beat Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen's Belgium 2-0 in the Uefa Euro 2016 group stage. Vertonghen had scored past Buffon as Belgium defeated the Azzurri 3-1 in a November 2015 friendly.

Have played together:

Miralem Pjanic & Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyonnais, 2008–11)

Blaise Matuidi & Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain, 2014–17)

International team-mates:

Blaise Matuidi & Hugo Lloris, Moussa Sisssoko (France)

Juan Cuadrado & Davinson Sánchez (Colombia)

Gonzalo Higuaín, Paulo Dybala & Erik Lamela (Argentina)

Match Facts

Juventus

Uefa Champions League squad changes

In: Stephan Lichtsteiner

Out: Benedikt Höwedes

Miralem Pjanic will incur a suspension with his next booking.

Having been held to a goalless draw by FC Internazionale Milano in their first game after matchday six, Juve have won their last 11 games in all competitions, conceding only one goal in that run.

Juve's sequence includes eight successive Serie A victories, most recently Friday's 2-0 success at ACF Fiorentina, during which time they have scored 20 goals and conceded only one.

v The Bianconeri have conceded just one goal in their last 16 games in all competitions.

Gonzalo Higuaín scored his first hat-trick for Juventus in the 7-0 home win against US Sassuolo Calcio on 4 February. He was also on target at Fiorentina and has scored in his last four matches, six goals in total.

Gianluigi Buffon made his 500th league appearance for Juventus against Fiorentina. Higuaín's goal was his 50th for the Turin club in all competitions.

Sami Khedira scored twice against Sassuolo to take his tally for the Serie A season to six – already his best total in Turin.

Juventus have reached the Coppa Italia semifinals, beating both Genoa and Torino 2-0. The Bianconeri won the first leg 1-0 at Atalanta on 30 January. The return is scheduled for 28 February.

Juan Cuadrado has not played since 23 December; he underwent groin surgery on 30 January.

Paulo Dybala has not played since suffering a thigh injury in the victory against Cagliari on 4 January.

Blaise Matuidi suffered a thigh injury against Sassuolo. Douglas Costa missed the same game with a calf problem; he returned as a second-half substitute against Fiorentina.

Benedikt Höwedes has been sidelined with a serious thigh injury since November and has been removed from Juve's Uefa Champions League squad.

Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini were both voted into the Uefa.com Fans' Team of the Year 2017.

Tottenham

Uefa Champions League squad changes

In: Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura

Out: Juan Foyth, Georges-Kévin N'Koudou

Serge Aurier is a booking away from a ban.

Tottenham have lost one of their 15 games in all competitions since matchday six, going down 4-1 at Manchester City FC on 16 December. They have won 10 matches in that sequence, beating neighbours Arsenal FC 1-0 in the north London derby on Saturday.

Nine of the 24 Premier League goals Tottenham have conceded this season have come in the final 15 minutes.

Harry Kane scored his 100th Premier League goal with an added-time penalty to give Spurs a 2-2 draw at Liverpool FC on 4 February. It was his 141st game in the competition, making him the second fastest player to the century after Alan Shearer (124 games).

Kane struck again against Arsenal, and has eight goals in his last seven games.

Tottenham have reached the FA Cup fifth round with wins over AFC Wimbledon FC (3-0) and, after a replay, Newport County AFC (1-1; 2-0). Spurs will visit League One Rochdale FC in the last 16 on 18 February.

Alderweireld made his first appearance since 1 November in the replay against Newport on 7 February after a hamstring injury; Danny Rose (out since 26 December, knee) and Harry Winks (26 December, knee/ankle) also returned in that game.

On 28 November Erik Lamela made his first appearance since 25 October 2016 after a long-term hip injury. The Argentinian has since made 14 Premier League appearances, all bar two as a substitute, and has completed 90 minutes in both FA Cup games.

Source:Uefa.com



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