While the championship becomes more complicated for Juventus with eight points behind the domestic leader, Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates get back on track on Wednesday against Porto in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League.
Favorite on paper, the Old Lady travels to the FC Porto field in the context of the knockout stages of the Champions League with one goal: to win again. Andrea Pirlo’s last men’s outing did not go as planned, after the 1-0 defeat on the lawn of Naples in Serie A. A setback that relegates the Bianconeri to fourth place in the Italian championship, eight lengths behind of Inter Milan, leader.
This setback sounds like a surprise as the Juventus players have made a good start to the year 2021. The reigning Italian champion has once again become a solid team, winning the Italian Supercup against Naples (2-0, the January 20), qualified for the Cup, at the expense of Inter Milan in the semi-final and therefore engaged on all fronts. Only two defeats came to mar this course, against Inter Milan (2-0, January 17) and last Saturday against Napoli (1-0).
7 goals in 12 games in 2021 for CR7
The fit man on the Bianconeri side is (obviously) Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international is not insignificant in the return to form of his team since he has scored seven goals in twelve games since the start of the year. Paradoxical performances compared to his teammates at the forefront of the Turin attack, between Paulo Dybala too often injured and Alvaro Morata not very decisive. Seven is also the number of clean sheets for the Turin defense in 2021.
Two players will not be in the game in Portugal, it is Arthur who is experiencing pain in his right leg, just like Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian has a hamstring injury and will miss his team’s next three matches. These absences should not change the tactics put in place by Pirlo and the watchword is clear: win in Porto to put themselves in the best possible conditions during the second leg.