Predicted XI

Messi and Ronaldo to face off? How Barcelona and Juventus could line up

Given it's a meaningless match at the end of the group stage, will both players be risked with many more matches to come?

8:00am on Monday 7th December 2020
Paul Macdonald

Barcelona and Juventus have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League before they face off on Tuesday.

But given that neither side is in the most stellar of form, the number of changes each coach will make is likely to be limited.

Both Ronald Koeman and Andrea Pirlo won't want to suffer defeat here and so while they will make alterations, some of the big guns are sure to be retained.

Which begs the question - will Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo finally face off? Ronaldo missed the corresponding fixture due to a positive coronavirus test and Messi was superb in his absence, setting up a goal and scoring in a Barca victory.

Messi has been rested from the past two Champions League games and with injuries to Ansu Fati (knee) and now Ousmane Dembele, who will be out for the rest of the year with a hamstring pull, the Argentine will likely feature.

There's a bit more doubt over Ronaldo - Juve play Genoa and Atalanta in quick succession - but he will be desperate to feature at Camp Nou one more time.

Elsewhere Barcelona will likely give minutes to Pedri from the start and Miralem Pjanic against his former club. Sergi Roberto remains sidelined with a thigh problem.

Other than Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral, Juve have a relatively clean bill of health and so the starting line-up will likely come down to rotation. Paulo Dybala is in desperate need of a goal and so maybe given more minutes to get his form back.

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