Juventus look to pull further clear of Lokomotiv Moscow in Group D on Tuesday when they face off in the UEFA Champions League.
Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Key Stat: Lokomotiv Moscow have failed to win any of their previous six trips to Italy, losing three times and collecting a draw three times.
Expert Verdict: Lokomotiv have never really fared well in Italy before, and it's tough to imagine that they will do so now. With the specter of Juventus staring at them dead in the eyes, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who loves feasting upon Russian sides, it's going to be a very tough one. Lokomotiv are a side that are just not on Juventus' level, and that's going to be especially the case when they play in the rough environment of Turin.
Maurizio Sarri has a number of players that are currently set to miss out due to injuries, with Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia Perin, Mattia De Sciglio, Douglas Costa, Marko Pjaca, and Aaron Ramsey all casualties. Emre Can and Mario Mandzukic, remember, are not in the UCL squad and can not feature.
In the past, Cristiano Ronaldo has absolutely roasted Russian sides, so it is a wise choice to believe he’ll keep that up here. He’s scored once every 60 minutes against them so far, so he might fancy one or two- or three- in this home excursion. He’s got four in Serie A and one in the UCL so far, so it’s not out of the question at all. If he doesn’t do the damage, then Gonzalo Higuain might. The Argentine is rejuvenated back at Juve under Sarri and will be there to sweep home any chances that fall to him.
Juventus have won each of their last five matches:
2-1 home win vs Bologna
1-2 win at Inter Milan
3-0 home win vs Bayer Leverkusen (UCL)
2-0 home win vs SPAL
1-2 win at Brescia
Defenders:Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Silva
Midfielders:Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi
Forwards:Bernadeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo
Yuri Semin is missing Boris Rotenberg, Jefferson Farfan, Anton Miranchuk, and Fedor Smolov due to injuries for this clash. Meanwhile, there is good news with winger Rifat Zhemaletdinov set to return from his hip problem.
Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak has never been known his goal scoring, but he might start to be due to his play of late. He’s leading the team in the Russian division with five goals, and he has one in the UCL as well to show he’s become a threat going forward for them. At the back, they will hope to rely upon the veteran savviness of Vedran Corluka here. The former Tottenham man has been around a long, long time, and they will need every bit of experience he has to help them limit Ronaldo and co. in this encounter.
Lokomotiv Moscow have three wins, a loss, and a draw in their last five matches:
0-2 win at Akhmat Grozny
2-1 home win vs Arsenal Tula
0-2 home loss vs Atletico Madrid (UCL)
1-0 home win vs Zenit
1-1 draw, penalty loss vs Baltika (Cup)
Defenders:Zhivoglyadov, Magkeev, Corluka, Idowu
Midfielders:Aleksey Miranchuk, Krychowiak, Murilo, Joao Mario
Juventus last played against Lokomotiv in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, and they defeated their Russian opponents. They are unbeaten in six outings against Russian sides, winning five and drawing just once.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Juventus are at 2/11, a draw is at 5/1, and Lokomotiv Moscow are at 16/1.
Group D currently sees Atletico Madrid sitting atop the table through two match days on four points. Juventus have the same number of points, but Atleti currently have them on a tiebreaker. Lokomotiv Moscow have three points thus far, while Bayer Leverkusen are still looking to get their first point of the campaign. If they don’t get anything here, it’s very, very unlikely they will be able to progress.
Juventus are going to enter this match on top of Italy’s Serie A with 22 points from their opening eight matches. They have only slipped up once, and that was a draw. They have a one point gap over Inter Milan, who they defeated, giving them that lead that they are very, very likely to sustain and widen as weeks and months go by. Their record at the Juventus Stadium so far has been outstanding, with them winning in all five matches so far this season.
Lokomotiv Moscow, like Juventus, will enter this match on top of their domestic division as well. They have taken 29 points so far from their first 13 matches, putting them level with rivals Zenit currently. They have given up more goals than Zenit, but they remain on top via goal difference at the moment. So, they do have that going for them. In away matches this term, they have six wins, a draw, a loss on penalties, and one other loss in all comps.
Betfair have Ronaldo scoring anytime at 1.44.
No for both sides scoring is at 8/15.
Juventus are on a roll right now, and they might be due a big letdown sooner or later, but that won’t be coming at the hands of Lokomotiv. The Old Lady rolls on here with an emphatic win that further signals their ultimate intentions.