Juventus host Sporting Lisbon in their Champions League Group D clash on Wednesday night.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some talking points ahead of the match in Turin.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri maintains the “atmosphere in the camp is good” despite the disappointment of defeat at home by Lazio on Saturday, when a missed penalty from Paulo Dybala in stoppage time saw the Old Lady lose their proud two-year unbeaten home record in all competitions.
Coming on the back of throwing away a 2-0 lead after 24 minutes at Atalanta, the Serie A champions have allowed Napoli to steal a march at the top of the table with a run of eight straight league wins.
Allegri, though, feels now is not the time to hit the panic button but instead just roll their sleeves up.
“There are times when things go well and things go wrong in football, it is normal that we have to work hard on correcting the errors that we made and work hard until the end of the season,” he said.
The Bianconeri could perhaps be forgiven for allowing themselves a bit of confidence given the terrible record of their Portuguese opponents on Italian soil.
While it may have been six years since Sporting faced a side from Italy, their away form currently stands at 10 defeats from 13 matches and yet to record a victory.
However, any complacency should be offset by the cold hard fact that the narrow 1-0 loss against Barcelona last month remains the only defeat for Jorge Jesus’ side in 14 games this season.
With both teams having lost to Group D leaders Barcelona, who will now play pointless Olympiacos twice, it would appear Juve and Sporting are set to battle it out for the second qualification place.
Juventus head to Lisbon at the end of October, where another positive return for either team could well push them a step closer to the knock-out stage – and leave the other facing up to doing things the hard way in the Europa League.
Provided by Press Association Sport
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