Juventus vs Manchester United preview: Romelu Lukaku out of clash
Manchester United currently in second place in Champions League Group H, five points behind Juventus
Last Updated: 07/11/18 6:50pm
Romelu Lukaku is out of Manchester United's Champions League clash at Juventus on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm).
Juventus can qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League if they avoid defeat against United on Wednesday. The Italians lead the way in Group H after taking maximum points from their three fixtures, including a 1-0 win at Old Trafford where Paulo Dybala scored the winner.
A draw for Juve would ensure qualification to the knockout stages with two games remaining, while victory would clinch top spot. United are in a race to finish in the runners-up spot after picking up four points from their first three fixtures. They have a trip to Valencia and a home clash with Young Boys still to come.
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Juventus toyed with Jose Mourinho's side when the sides met at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, with Dybala's 17th-minute effort securing victory.
"We work every day to try (and change that), but the reality is that normally we don't start matches well," Mourinho said. "But if we don't start well and we end it well, that's fine, it's even good fun for the fans.
"But football is 90 minutes and especially when your opponent is strong, if you give 45 minutes advantage or even 20 or even 10, then you have a mountain to climb."
Lukaku has not travelled to Italy due to a "muscle, tendon" issue that leads manager Mourinho to fear the striker could also absent for the Manchester derby on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Defender Diogo Dalot, who has only made two appearances since signing from Porto, also missed out but Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini did take part in the session at Carrington ahead of United's trip to Italy.
Valencia has been sidelined for a month while Fellaini sustained a groin injury on international duty with Belgium in October.
Douglas Costa and Mario Mandzukic are doubts for Juventus as they look to secure qualification to the knockout stages.
- This is the 14th European meeting between Juventus and Manchester United - Juventus have won six, Man Utd have won five and they've drawn two of the previous 13.
- Manchester United have won their last two away Champions League matches against Juventus, scoring three goals in each win - 3-2 in April 1999 and 3-0 in February 2003.
- No side has won more away Champions League matches at Juventus than Manchester United (2, same as Bayern Munich).
- Since losing 0-3 to Manchester United in the second group stage in February 2003, Juventus have lost just one of their 35 home Champions League matches in the group stages (W24 D10).
- Manchester United have failed to score in their last two Champions League games - they haven't failed to score in three consecutively since November 2005.
- Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo is goalless in each of his last five Champions League games - since scoring a 90th minute penalty against Juventus in April for Real Madrid, he has played 389 minutes and attempted 15 shots without success.
This will be my game. I wasn't overly impressed with Juventus in the first game, I don't see why some people called them the best team in Europe - yes, the Cristiano Ronaldo addition was a good one but they didn't blow me away.
Paulo Dybala is a player I've always liked, and played well at Old Trafford and with him and Ronaldo around I genuinely don't see Manchester United getting anything from this trip at all.
Charlie predicts: 2-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)