Juventus’ hopes of challenging among Europe’s 16 best football teams could be decided by their penultimate Group H clash against Champions League holders Chelsea on Tuesday.
After years of watching from the sidelines the former two-time winners have embraced their return to the competition after winning a 28th Serie A league title last season. But so far, the Old Lady’s group campaign has gone off with more of a whimper than a bang.
Antonio Conte’s side managed only three draws before finally hitting form with a 4-0 rout of Danish champions Nordsjaelland in Turin two weeks ago.
That rather late surge, along with Chelsea’s late winner against Shakhtar, has left Juventus third in Group H one point behind the English giants and second placed Shakhtar.
Although both Chelsea and Shakhtar are delicately poised, Juventus, whose final group match is in the Ukraine, are in the unenvied position of hoping results elsewhere go their way.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon sees it another way — he believes Juve have their destiny in their hands: "The fact it all depends on us is a good sign. We’re at home to Chelsea and then away to Donetsk. We’re confident, and you can’t always rely on other results.”
Juventus suffered their first league defeat in over a year two weeks ago in a 3-1 defeat to Inter Milan and since then have been a mission to make amends.
Juve hammered Pescara 6-1 last week and should have put several goals past Lazio on Saturday before the Biancocelesti held on for a scoreless draw.