Juventus are genuine Champions League contenders

It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for the Old Lady of Turin.

Juventus’ rich history has been well documented but they were humiliated following the match fixing scandal which saw them relegated to Serie B.

It is a credit to the club that they were able to overcome all of the controversy and win their 28th Scudetto last season. And to complete their remarkable turnaround they went the whole of the Serie A season unbeaten.

Now, they return to the latter stages of the Champions League as something of a dark horse with Barcelona, Real Madrid and even Borussia Dortmund considered favourites ahead of them.

They face Celtic in the next round of the competition and Juventus have a far superior team to the Scots and will brush them aside with ease over the two legs.

Juventus have strength and depth in every area of the pitch. Going forward they have numerous scoring options; Sebastian Giovinco has the potential to become one of Europe’s top strikers whilst Mirko Vucinic excels as Juve’s conventional big man, a big target that uses his strength to dominate space.

The shrewd purchase of the ageless Andrea Pirlo provides the essential experience needed to make a run in the competition (Pirlo won the Champions League twice whilst with AC Milan).

Pirlo’s midfield companions, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, are world class players and the understanding that the trio have are key to making Juventus tick. Their collective tireless work rate mean Juventus can dominate teams in the middle of the park for long periods of time and, importantly, late into games when legs become tired.

Juventus play three at the back which requires a quick and mobile back three. Italy international Giorgio Chellini is the leader of the defence and with compatriot Andrea Barzagi alongside him the two form a formidable and experienced partnership. 

Manager Antonio Conte will be hoping that the recent acquisition of Nicolas Anelka will enable to make a successful return to Europe’s biggest stage. They currently stand at 7-1 to win the tournament with the bookies and those are exceptional odds for such a solid, professional and talented team.

Is there anything I have forgotten? Oh, yes, the captain Gianluigi Buffon stands in between the sticks for the Italians. It won’t be 7-1 forever.