Italian giant Juventus takes on Belarus club BATE Borisov today (30 September 2008) in the Group H Champions league encounter. The match will take place at the Haradzki Stadium, Borisov, Belarus. Juventus is yet to return to their prime form this season, even though they remained unbeaten after 5 games so far in Italian Serie A. The Turin based club now occupies seventh position in the league table with 9 points. However, they started their European mission with a victory over Group H opponent Zenit St. Petersburg. That 1-0 home victory over Russian champions must have given some confidence to the old lady of Turin, because with two victories and three draws, they hardly have anything in their league performance to inspire themselves.
Match: BATE Borisov vs Juventus, Group H, Champions League 2008-2009
Date: 30 September 2008, Tuesday
Venue: Haradzki Stadium, Borisov, Belarus
Kick off: 19:45 BST (British Standard Time)
BATE Borisov has been in excellent form in Belarus premier league. Having played 23 matches so far this season, they are undefeated and currently leading the point table with 53 points. Juventus must be careful against BATE Borisov, because their home performance shows that they are pretty much consistent and defensively very well. However, BATE Borisov got off to a bad start in their Champions league mission as they were defeated by Spanish champions Real Madrid 2-0 in the first match. No doubt, BATE Borisov is underdog in Group H in the presence of Real Madrid, Juventus and Zenit St. Petersburg. However, if they have any hope of getting into the next stage of Champions League then they can not afford to suffer any more defeat. However, today they face Juventus in front of the home fans. So, they will have the home advantage in the match.
Juventus player David Trezeguet will miss today’s affair against BATE Boriso as the French international has been out of action until next year with knee injury. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Christian Poulsen have been ruled out of their trip to Belarus as both of them are recovering from minor knocks. However, the good news for Juventus is that Nicola Legrottaglie will be available for the trip as he has recovered from injury problem. BATE Borisov will miss veteran midfielder Aleksandr Ermakovich as the player underwent a knee surgery recently and will not be able to return to action until next year. Except this, BATE Borisov has no other major injury problem.
Though BATE Borisov lost to Real Madrid, the Belarus club looked impressive at Bernabeu. This indicates that Juventus will face strong challenge away at BATE Borisov. Moreover, Juventus’ recent form is unimpressive as the Italian giants failed to score in their last two matches. So, it is pretty sure that BATE Borisov is going to take a stern test of Juventus.