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UEFA Champions League preview: Juventus v Bayern Munich

Few times in the past two seasons have Juventus been as comprehensively outplayed as they were in Munich last week.

The Turin giants went down 2-0 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg and on the balance of play were lucky to escape without further damage.

Antonio Conte’s side have been written off in most quarters ahead of the second leg due to the manner of their defeat, but they will return to the more welcoming confines of Juventus Stadium where they have lost only three times in the past year.

An away goal for Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern, however, would make matters even more difficult for Conte’s men.

Both sides have dominated their respective leagues this season.

Juve returned to winning ways against Pescara on Sunday to maintain their nine-point lead over Napoli while Bayern were busy clinching the Bundesliga title six rounds from season’s close courtesy of a 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Juventus’ chances of turning things around will be hindered by the suspension of key duo Arturo Vidal and Stephan Lichtsteiner for Wednesday’s clash.

The pair picked up yellow cards in the German capital and their absence will leave the home side stretched, particularly holding midfielder Vidal given the way they were swamped in the first leg.

Bayern will be without Toni Kroos, whose knee injury is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

The 23-year-old shackled danger man Andrea Pirlo for the opening 20 minutes in the first leg before he was forced off, only for Thomas Mueller to shift into the hole and perform superbly in the same role.

Bayern may set out slightly more defensively in Turin but have the ammunition on the bench with the likes of Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez and Xherdan Shaqiri given time as substitutes in the first leg.

Tue 9 Apr, 2013
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