Unai Emery

In-form Villarreal is taking part in the Champions League knockouts for just the third time ever and for the very first time since 2009.

Match context

The Yellow Submarine finds themselves here after a thrilling 3-2 win in Bergamo against Atalanta on the final day of the group stages. Their task in this season’s Champions League round of 16 is a meeting with a resurgent Juventus, whose domestic campaign started in disastrous fashion, but they’ve since steadied the ship. The Bianconeri is unbeaten in 16 matches across all competitions in 90 minutes since mid-November. They are showing the resilience that we have come to expect from Italian teams.

 Team news

 Villarreal

Being without star striker and talisman Gerard Moreno is a blow for Unai Emery, but they have veteran defender Raul Albiol and teenage wide man Yeremi Pino back from suspension. Arnaut Danjuma is filling the Moreno void with his goals; four in the UCL and eight in LaLiga. Flamboyant Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwuze is also an interesting option. Giovani Lo Celso and Etienne Capoue face late fitness tests.

 Juventus

Juve boss Max Allegri has to contend with a lengthy injury list with defensive stalwarts Leo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini both ruled out, and Paulo Dybala rated as doubtful. Danilo will partner Matthijs de Ligt in defence and Federico Bernardeschi will slot into an attacking midfield role behind new man Dusan Vlahovic. The final choice will be whether to opt for Weston McKennie or Adrien Rabiot in central midfield. Marquee January signing Dusan Vlahović will lead the line on his Champions League debut.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here