The league-leading teams in Germany and Italy will face each other in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday April 2. Bundesliga top dogs Bayern Munich will battle it out with Serie A’s best team Juventus at home at the Allianz Arena in Munich. This is the first leg of the matchup with the winner advancing to the semi final.
Bayern Munich is hoping to have both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jerome Boateng back in the team after they missed the last Champions League match against Arsenal. Munich managed to win the first leg of that round-of-16 showdown 3-0 in London at the Emirates Stadium, but almost blew the lead by losing at home 2-0 in the second leg. Munich looks to be firing on all cylinders as the completely demolished Hamburg 9-2 in a league match on Saturday.
They will have to play without Javi Martinez though as he’s suspended for this game. Look for Luiz Gustavo to take his place in the lineup. In addition, Holger Badstuber is still out of action for the German club due to torn knee ligaments. Phillip Lahm and centre-back Dante will need to behave themselves in this game because if either of them picks up a yellow card they’ll have t sit out the return leg on April 10 in Torino.
Juventus is hoping that forward Sebastian Giovinco will be able to play after he was injured on the weekend in their 2-1 win over Inter Milan. Mirko Vucinic could miss the match because of the flu and if he does, then look for Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella to play up front. However, Vucinic may recover in time to take part in the game. Arturo Vidal, Stephan Lichtsteiner, and Claudio Marchisio all need to stay away from the referee as they’ll miss the next contest if they’re booked.
Juventus has won all five of previous quarterfinal matches against German teams. They will need to keep close tabs on Munich’s Claudio Pizarro as he’s red hot after scoring four times against Hamburg on the weekend and also set up two others. These teams met back in 2009/10 with Munich handing the Italian side a 4-1 beating. The last time Juventus was beaten on the road in a European competition came back during the 2010 Europa League when they were dropped 4-1 by English side Fulham in London.
Juventus’ Quagliarella will be the man to watch for Munich as he’s scored four goals in the Champions League so far this season despite playing less than three full games. This is a big test for Juventus since they haven’t advanced past the quarterfinal stage since beating Barcelona back in 2002/03. However, look for them to get off to a rough start in this tie as Bayern should be able to earn all three points here at home.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Bayern Munich win at 8/13 with a Juventus victory at 5/1 and a draw at 13/5.