After almost two and a half years later, on Tuesday at Camp Nou Stadium, we are about to experience one of the biggest individual rivals Barcelona and Juventus yet again on the same field to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League as the group topper.
In the previous meeting of Juventus and Barcelona in October at the Allianz Stadium, Barcelona beat Juventus by 2-0. Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t available for this encounter because of his positive covid-19.
So, the football world missed the spectacle of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi playing against each other for the first time after the transfer of Ronaldo from Real Madrid to the Old Lady of Turin.
It will be the first time since that transfer we can experience the duel of Messi and Ronaldo, and we don’t know when we can see this battle next time or even we can see that ever after this.
For this game between two huge clubs in European football, we create a combined Xl of Barcelona and Juventus.
Combined Xl of Barcelona and Juventus:
Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona)
In goal the choice was between Wojciech Szczesny and Marc-André ter Stegen.
Szczesny has been pretty good between the sticks for the Bianconeri but in terms of choosing between Ter Stegen and Szczesny, it is a pretty straightforward decision to chose ter Stegen over Szczesny in this combined Xl.
Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)
It might raise eyes brows for some people to choose Juan Cuadrado over other proper right-backs like Danilo and Sergiño Dest, but Sergiño Dest hasn’t proved himself at the top level, and Danilo is an inconsistent player with mistakes in him, in the big matches like this we choose Cuadrado.
Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
To see the combination between Messi and Alba it must be Alba on this Xl, to realise Messi’s pass and reach the end of it nobody else is better than him. The battle was between Alex Sandro and Jordi Alba and it was also a straightforward decision to pick Alba over Sandro.
Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus)
In the centre-back position, it has to be players from Juventus as Barcelona has already conceded 11 goals in the league from 10 matches and Pique is out for injury. It was also an easy decision to pick De Ligt over any Barca defender.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
When Bonucci is available to play it will always be Bonucci in any team in the world. Like Jose Moutinho said he could be a professor of Harvard and give listens about the art of defending. There wasn’t any combination when he is in the squad.
Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)
Frankie De Jong is already one of the best central midfielders right now and he grabs the Sergio Busquets’ spot. In the struggling Barca squad only he is the brightest spot so far. Arthur the former Barca player and the current Juventus player is a similar style to a player like De Jong, but De Jong is showing a better display than Arthur.
Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Philippe Coutinho is still a great talent in world football. The big-money move hasn’t panned out how Blaugrana thought when they paid the fee for him, but still, he could be a devastating player on his day and an in-form Coutinho is an unstoppable midfielder.
So, keeping in mind his quality, Coutinho is the man for any combined Xl.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Lionel Messi hasn’t been his best so far this season. After the battle between Messi and Barcelona, the fans of Barça were fearful of his commitment and that question remains, is he fully committed to Barcelona? But still, he is the best player in the world and nobody can replace Messi.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
At the age of 35, Ronaldo is still one of the best players in the world and his goal per match is still phenomenal. There was no competition in his position. When Ronaldo and Messi are available no one can even come close over them. Ronald has already scored 8 goals in 6 matches.
Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)
Since Griezmann’s arrival in Barcelona, he played in different positions but he never got his preferred position to play. Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman promised to play him in his preferred position but at first, Griezmann’s wish wasn’t fulfilled. But in the last few matches, he is playing in his position as an AM and he looked rejuvenated and pretty good.
Alvaro Morata (Juventus)
When Juve bought him many were surprised by the choice after his poor last few seasons. But since then Morata has been the brightest players in the struggling Juventus team, and he found his old Juve form in his second innings at Juventus. When it comes to choosing a centre forward there isn’t many in either side apart from Alvaro Morata.
In the last match of the group stage in the Champions League night, two struggling sides will meet to be the group champions as they already qualified for the knockout stage. It may be the first time many European giants are struggling like this at the same time.
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