MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 22:55:20| >> :120:56351:56351:
Oct 1, 2019 at 8pm UK at Juventus Stadium
Attendance: 34,525
B. LeverkusenBayer Leverkusen
Higuain (17'), Bernardeschi (62'), Ronaldo (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Juventus vs. Bayer Leverkusen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday night's Champions League clash between Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Juventus welcome Bayer Leverkusen to Turin on Tuesday night with both sides looking for their first win of the Champions League season.

The hosts squandered a two-goal lead at Atletico Madrid on matchday one, while Leverkusen suffered a bitterly disappointing home defeat at the hands of Lokomotiv Moscow.

Match preview

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri gestures against Atletico Madrid on September 18, 2019© Reuters

Always among the favourites for Champions League glory, Juventus' recent record in the competition is actually fairly poor with just one win in their last six European outings and three defeats in their last six at home.

Maurizio Sarri's side looked destined for a statement-making victory on matchday one when goals from Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi put them into a two-goal lead at the Wanda Metropolitano, only for Atletico to hit back with two goals in the final 20 minutes to rescue a draw.

One point from what is likely to be their most difficult assignment of the group stage is by no means a bad result, though, and the Italian champions will expect to chalk up their first victory on Tuesday night.

Juve have won all three of their matches since that Atletico draw, including a 2-0 triumph over SPAL on Saturday, and may even already have one eye on next weekend's top-of-the-table showdown with Inter Milan, who lead the way in Serie A with six wins from six.

The Champions League is no place to take your eye off the ball, though, even for a team still unbeaten across all competitions this season as Juventus are.

Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz pictured in February 2019© Reuters

Having said that, Leverkusen would need to pull off a major shock if they are to come away with anything from the Juventus Stadium, particularly following their own matchday one setback.

The Bundesliga outfit were favourites going into their home match against Lokomotiv Moscow but slumped to a 2-1 defeat, following on from a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Borussia Dortmund four days earlier.

Peter Bosz's side have since returned to winning ways, though, scoring five goals without reply in victories over Union Berlin and Augsburg, the latter of whom they beat 3-0 on Saturday.

Champions League wins have been harder to come by - just two in their last 14 outings - although they did beat Juventus when they were paired together for the only previous time in 2001-02, a campaign which ended with Leverkusen reaching the final.

Juventus form: WDDWWW

Leverkusen form: WDLLWW

Team News

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal against Tottenham on July 21, 2019© Reuters

Juventus boast Champions League top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks and the five-time winner of the competition is fit to play after returning from a minor thigh injury at the weekend.

Sarri is still without long-term absentees Giorgio Chiellini and Mattia Perin, though, while Mattia De Sciglio has been sidelined since the end of August due to a thigh problem.

Douglas Costa and Danilo, the latter of whom is one appearance short of 50 in European competition, have picked up similar issues so far this month and are also unlikely to feature as a result, forcing Sarri to again use Cuadrado as an emergency full-back.

Wojciech Szczesny is expected to return in goal after Gianluigi Buffon was brought in for his Italian-record 903rd club appearance against SPAL, surpassing Paolo Maldini in the process.

Leverkusen will once again be without one of their key men in Leon Bailey, who has not played since suffering a muscle injury during the matchday one defeat to Lokomotiv.

There is better news regarding the fitness of Joel Pohjanpalo, though, with the Finnish attacker returning to the bench against Augsburg following 18 months out with persistent foot problems.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Silva; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala; Ronaldo, Higuain

Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Weiser, Dragovic, S Bender, Sinkgraven; Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz; Havertz, Amiri, Volland; Alario

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We say: Juventus 2-0 Leverkusen

Leverkusen should put up a better fight than their matchday one result might suggest, but there is no getting away from the fact that Juventus will be firm favourites for this match. The Italian champions have superior quality throughout their team, not to mention the genius of Ronaldo up front should it prove to be stickier than the stats suggest.

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Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri during the post match press conference on July 21, 2019
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· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

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