The red card at the weekend against Malaga should spur Neymar to be at his very best on Tuesday when Barcelona face heavy odds to get a good result against Juventus at the Juventus Stadium.
It is the quarter final of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League with Juventus in good form against a Barcelona team that seems to have lost something.
But they can never be written off with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar as their attacking trident even though Juventus’ front three of Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic are just as lethal. Juventus captain, the legendary Gianluigi Buffon, believes they have grown from their last 3-1 defeat to Barcelona as they hope to do better on Tuesday night.
“They were much stronger than us, especially in the way they approached the game. Now we have two more years of experience at this level, which allows us to play in such games with a different mentality.”
Barcelona will face a big challenge especially in the midfield anchor role where Sergio Busquets is suspended even though Luis Enrique has said suspensions are normal and the Catalan club would try to replace him as best as possible. Whether that can be achieved is another question they would have to answer tonight.
There is also history between these two sides – the last time they net was in the final of this competition in 2015 and Barcelona came out victors 3-1.
Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, believes it would not be about revenge, as things lost cannot be regained.
“I don’t think revenge really exists in football. There are opportunities but not revenge because you cannot retrieve what you lost.
“Juventus have changed a few players since then [the 2015 final], we have also, so we are only focused on playing a good game and earning a good result here. We will not be thinking of the match in Berlin.”
Dani Alves could play against his former side even though he prayed not to be paired with Barcelona. Juventus will feel largely confident of getting a good result being unbeaten in 21 European games at Juventus Stadium in which they have won 12 and drawn nine.
Current Form: Juventus [W-L-D-W-W]; Barcelona [L-W-W-W-L]
Head to head
06/06/15 UCL Juventus 1 – 3 Barcelona
21/04/03 UCL Barcelona 1 – 2 Juventus
08/04/03 UCL Juventus 1 – 1 Barcelona
Prediction: Juventus 3-1 Barcelona