Manchester United vs Juventus : Manchester United were dominated by Juventus when the two European giants met at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League group stage last month. Remarkably, the Italian champions only prevailed 1-0, and Paul Pogba nearly salvaged a point late on when his curling effort struck the post.
Jose Mourinho and his side will need to make major improvements if they are not to be embarrassed by Juve and former Red Devils star Cristiano Ronaldo when the two sides face off again in Turin on Wednesday.
United are enjoying their best spell of 2018-19 after extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four matches with their 2-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
However, they still look unconvincing at the back and seem unable to produce their best form until they are already trailing.
If they are poor again in the opening 45 minutes at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday they will be lucky to escape a hammering.
The Manchester Evening News’ Samuel Luckhurst described the gulf in quality between Juve and United in the reverse fixture last month:
Mourinho’s side have improved since then, but if they are to get a result in Italy they will need the likes of Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial to maintain their recent good form.
Martial has been United’s best player of late:
If the Frenchman can produce another stellar performance against Juve and earn United a point or a win, it will further prove he is ready to make the step up to the elite level.
Other than avoiding embarrassment, United need to get something against Juventus to prevent putting their place in the knockout rounds in jeopardy.
At the moment Juve look to have sewn up top spot in the group, so United, Valencia and Young Boys are all playing for the final qualification spot.
Another defeat against the Italian giants and United could drop out of second spot, making their final two matches must-win games.
A win against Massimiliano Allegri’s side and the Manchester outfit will not only take a step closer to the last 16, they will also put themselves back in contention to top the group.