Juventus get their Champions League campaign underway against Valencia on Wednesday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo set to make his European debut for the club.
The Turin giants have started the season well having collected maximum points from their opening four games of the Serie A campaign.
In a further boost, Ronaldo bagged his first two goals for the club in the win over Sassuolo on Sunday to end his wait, and so the 33-year-old is likely to be relieved and in a more confident mood moving forward.
Nevertheless, a trip to Valencia promises to be a difficult task, and he’ll know better than most in Massimiliano Allegri’s squad given his experience of playing at the Mestalla while with Real Madrid.
As seen below in a possible line-up, Ronaldo could be expected to lead the line for Juve in Spain, with Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic providing the support for him as part of an attacking trident. Given his controversy at the weekend after being caught spitting at a rival, it would be a surprise to see Douglas Costa involved.
A midfield of Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi would offer experience, creativity and defensive solidity as well as a real balance in the middle, while the same could be said of a centre-half pairing consisting of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci who are reunited after the latter’s season with AC Milan.
There is real quality running right through this Juventus side, and with Ronaldo now leading their charge, they’ll be hopeful that he can be the catalyst to end their long wait for success in Europe.
The five-time winner was influential for Madrid last season as they won their third consecutive European title, but making it in four in a row with his new side would surely be something very special.
It all starts at Valencia, with Ronaldo, Dybala and Co. hoping to produce a positive performance to issue an early statement of intent over their ambitions in Europe this season.
Probable Juventus XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 18, 2018