MX23RW : Friday, December 11 04:04:29| >> :120:40194:40194:
Nov 4, 2020 at 8pm UK at Groupama Aréna
FerencvarosFerencvaros
1-4
JuventusJuventus
Boli (90')
Botka (19')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Morata (7', 60'), Dybala (73'), Dvali (81' og.)

Preview: Ferencvaros vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Ferencvaros and Juventus, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Juventus travel to Hungary in search of a 100th Champions League victory, as they aim to get their continental campaign back on track after a pallid showing in defeat to Barcelona last week.

Wednesday night's hosts Ferencvaros, who themselves lost 5-1 at 'crisis club' Barca in their first group stage game for 25 years, fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Dynamo Kiev last time out.


Match preview

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring for Juve on August 7, 2020© Reuters

Though Juve's opening win in Ukraine has given them a two-point cushion in second place in the group, coach Andrea Pirlo will be grateful for the return of their iconic frontman Cristiano Ronaldo, as the Turin giants seek to set up safe passage from Group G courtesy of back-to-back fixtures with Ferencvaros.

That defeat against Barcelona was the first under Pirlo and the first time this season they have failed to score, as the new coach's gradual reconfiguration of an ageing squad continues.

At the weekend, their Portuguese talisman's re-appearance off the bench - scoring two goals to hand Juventus a 4-1 victory away to battling Spezia - was well received.

Ronaldo took just three minutes to find the net, then Federico Chiesa won a penalty which the ex-Real Madrid and Manchester United man converted Panenka-style.

In his absence, Dejan Kulusevski, who spent last season on loan at Parma to great effect, came to the fore while others flattered to deceive, netting a superb late equaliser against Verona last week. He dropped to the bench at the weekend, so after only a brief cameo is likely to have plenty of energy in store for the Bianconeri's midweek assignment.

The Swedish star's influence is only going to grow throughout the campaign, as he seeks to become established at continental level, and the direct nature of his lung-busting runs will pose serious headaches for the Ferencvaros defence.

Juventus attacker Dejan Kulusevski celebrates scoring against Hellas Verona in Serie A on October 25, 2020© Reuters

As befitting their status amid the European elite, Juve have won three of their last four away European games - defeat at Lyon last season being the only reverse in their last six matches abroad - so they will naturally look to take the game to their hosts on Wednesday.

The historic Hungarian club's greatest moment in European football came when Jozsef Meszaros's team lifted the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup after Mate Fenyvesi's second-half header earned a 1-0 final win against the Bianconeri in Turin, back in June 1965.

Such glories have been few and far between in recent decades. Now, having claimed their 31st league title – and second in succession – in 2019-20, Ferencvaros are making only their second appearance in the Champions League group stage, having last featured in 1995-96.

Serhiy Rebrov's team are unbeaten in their last six home European matches but markedly lack in experience at this rarefied level; only two members of the squad had ever played in the Champions League before - Robert Mak (two substitute appearances for Zenit in 2019-20) and Oleksandr Zubkov (one for Shakhtar Donetsk).

On Saturday, Brazilian midfielder Somalia - now in his second spell at the club - scored as Fradi drew 1-1 away at closest challengers Fehervar, keeping them top of the domestic table by a point. That followed the visit of Dynamo Kiev last Wednesday, when a last-gasp equaliser from Franck Boli snatched a 2-2 result, shortly after Rebrov's former club had been reduced to 10 men.

The much anticipated visit of the Italian champions on Wednesday night marks the culmination for Ferencvaros of a long journey back to Europe's top table. Expectations remain realistic, so all the pressure will be upon Pirlo's side to secure maximum points from their trip to Budapest.

Ferencvaros Champions League form: LD
Ferencvaros form (all competitions): WWLWDD

Juventus Champions League form: WL
Juventus form (all competitions): WDWDLW


Team News

Ferencvaros' Miha Blazic celebrates with teammates against Molde in the Champions League playoffs on September 29, 2020© Reuters

Juventus defenders Matthijs de Ligt and Alex Sandro will return to action after the international break, as they are not yet ready for first-team duty. The ex-Ajax man underwent shoulder surgery in August and is currently only taking part in non-contact training, while Alex Sandro's long-standing thigh injury lingers on.

Cristiano Ronaldo is eligible to return to his favourite stage, the Champions League, and should start ahead of Alvaro Morata.

Merih Demiral is suspended, so Danilo will be joined by old-timers Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in Andrea Pirlo's back three.

Bosnian defender Eldar Civic is doubtful for Ferencvaros' big night and Albania international Myrto Uzuni remains absent as he self-isolates following a positive COVID-19 test.

Tokmac Nguen and well-travelled Brazilian striker Isael da Silva Barbosa are expected to lead the attack for the home side, though ex-Gremio man Isael has yet to score in 36 European appearances since 2014.

Ferencvaros possible starting lineup:
Dibusz; Lovrencsics, Blazic, Kovacevic, Heister; Kharatin; Zubkov, Laidouni, Somalia, Nguen; Isael

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Kulusevski, Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo


SM words green background

We say: Ferencvaros 0-2 Juventus

Any future 'European Super League' would inevitably see the death of such romantic ties as this - the meeting of two deeply historic clubs in beautiful Budapest.

Something of a David v Goliath contest, it is unlikely that Rebrov's Fradi side can hold out against the might and depth of the Juventus squad, though, as Pirlo's men can comfortably get back on track for knockout stage qualification.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:420474:cQx

Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between Ferencvaros and Juventus?

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