New-look Barcelona host Champions League finalists on opening night

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Messi celebrates his hat-trick against Espanyol. Picture: Manu Fernandez/Associated Press.

BARCELONA- Barcelona host the finalists from last seasons’ Champions League on Tuesday night when Juventus come to the Camp Nou for the first game of the the Champions League.

Juventus and Barcelona have both started the season perfectly winning all their league games. Juventus beat Chievo Verona 3-0 on the weekend while Barcelona put five past rivals Espanyol for a 5-0 win; including a Lionel Messi hat-trick.

Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund also made his Barcelona debut last weekend and got an assist late in the game.

The last time the two sides met was in the quarter-finals last season when Juventus won at home 4-0; then tied 0-0 at the Camp Nou to eventually reach the final.

Team News:

Juan Cuadrado is suspended after his red card in the final last season; Mario Mandzukic and Alex Sandro remain questionable. Barcelona have no new injury concerns and will be able to field a full strength team. Ousmane Dembele is available for selection after the transfer of Neymar to PSG.

Key Players:

Messi and Dybala after last seasons’ game. Picture: Getty.

All eyes will be on the two Argentines; Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala. Both players have started their domestic leagues in glorious form, Messi has five goals in three games while Dybala has seven goals in four games.

Paulo Dybala also scored twice against Barcelona last season in the quarter-finals to help his side eliminate the Spanish giants.

The game will kickoff at 2:45pm EST and will be televised on TSN 4.

Projected lineups:

Barcelona: ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Messi, Suarez, Dembele.

Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Rugani, Sandro; Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Dybala, Bernardeschi; Higuain.


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