Five Players Who Can Decide The Outcome Of Juventus v Bayern
Forget Arsenal vs Barcelona, the most evenly matched tie of the Champions League last 16 takes place in Turin tonight.
Two of last season’s final four clash in a mouth-watering tie for a place in the quarter finals and there’s plenty of quality on show.
Juventus have shaken off an awful start to their domestic season to recapture top form and lead Serie A, while Bayern have been their usual juggernaut selves and lead the Bundesliga by eight points.
Here’s five players who possess the talent to decide the outcome of the clash:
How much do Manchester United regret letting this man go?
Since leaving Old Trafford, Pogba has flourished into one of the world’s best midfielders.
His long range shooting has produced some sensational goals, while his physical traits have seen him establish himself on the world’s biggest stages.
He’ll have his work cut out against Bayern though, with Philipp Lahm and Arturo Vidal coming up against the young Frenchman.
It’s a key battle in midfield but Pogba has the talent to come out on top and send the Italian giants closer to the last eight.
If there’s anyone who is going to have a say in how this turns out, it’s Robert Lewandowski.
The Polish hitman scores goals for fun and with 22 Bundesliga goals to his name already this season, he’s the man who poses Juventus the biggest goal threat.
All Bayern’s play is focused on setting up the former Borussia Dortmund striker and he’s usually not one to miss too many chances – just look at his incredible five goal haul against Wolfsburg in September last year.
Juventus are renowned for having one of the best defences in the world, so they’ll be given a stern test against Lewandowski.
Juventus’ answer to Lewandowski is Argentine sensation Dybala.
The 22-year-old has taken Serie A by storm this term, scoring 16 goals already, a season after scoring 13 for Palermo.
That form has seen him establish himself as Juve’s main striker, forming a partnership with either Alvaro Morata or Mario Mandzukic.
His dribbling ability and lethal finishing has seen him establish himself as one of Italy’s most feared strikers but he’ll have his work cut out against the likes of Jerome Boateng and Xabi Alonso.
While Lewandowski is seen as Bayern’s main goal scorer, Muller isn’t exactly shy when it comes to finding the net.
The 26-year-old German has 17 in the Bundesliga this season and the only player who has scored more than him that isn’t also his team mate is Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Muller’s relentless style is something that sets him apart from the normal striker and he has an uncanny knack of scoring important goals.
Leonardo Bonucci and Stephan Lichtsteiner will be tasked with keeping Muller under wraps and those two are a pair that take no shit, so Muller will have to produce the kind of form that terrorised England the World Cup in 2010 if he is to have any say on proceedings.
He may be 38 and into the twilight of his career, but Buffon could still play a decisive role in the game.
The Italian legend plans to retire after his sixth World Cup in 2020 but his immediate focus will be on keeping the likes of Lewandowski and Muller at bay.
Buffon is set to become Juve’s all-time Champions League appearance holder tonight, as he moves past the 92 set by Alessandro Del Piero and has more than enough experience to deal with the occasion.
If the likes of Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa and Muller break through the Italians’ back line, it’ll be down to Buffon to save his side like he has so many times in the past.
The game isn’t short of decent goalkeepers, either. Buffon vs Manuel Neuer is a mouth watering clash of the best goalies in the world, and it’ll be interesting to see who prevails.
I guess we’ll find out soon enough.