Group D: Allegri wants 'aggressive' Juventus at Camp Nou

Juventus kept clean sheets in both legs of last season's quarter-final meeting with Barcelona, including drawing 0-0 at Camp Nou. Elsewhere, Olympiacos is hosting Portuguese champion Sporting CP.

"Tomorrow we need to score, as to keep a third consecutive clean sheet against Barcelona would be tough. We need to play with great enthusiasm and passion as we bid to reach the knockout rounds."   -  Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri believes Juventus must be positive at Camp Nou when it begins its Champions League campaign against familiar foe Barcelona.

The Italian champion knocked out its Spanish host at the quarterfinal stage last season on its way to the final, where it was beaten 4-1 by Real Madrid in Cardiff.

Juventus kept back-to-back clean sheets against Luis Enrique's side in the last-eight tie, yet Allegri feels his team will need to score to get something out of its Group D opener on Tuesday.

 

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"We're not yet in peak condition. The aim, as always, is to be fighting on all fronts come March," he told a news conference.

"Tomorrow we need to score, as to keep a third consecutive clean sheet against Barcelona would be tough.

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"We need to play with great enthusiasm and passion as we bid to reach the knockout rounds."

Barcelona has topped its group in each Champions League campaign since the 2007-08 season.

PREVIEW:

GROUP A: Mourinho 'confident' in Lindelof';

Group B: PSG finally ready to make a mark;

Group C: Atletico, Roma ready for key CL clash

However, it is a different side to the one Juventus faced back in April; Ernesto Valverde has taken over from the departed Luis Enrique, while Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record €222million fee.

New signings Ousmane Dembele - drafted in to help fill sizeable the void left by the Brazilian's departure - Paulinho and Nelson Semedo could all feature for the first time for Barca in Europe.

"It is actually strange to see Barcelona with three new players," Allegri added.

"They lost Neymar and replaced him with a young man like Dembele, but still today, along with Real, Barcelona are one of the two strongest teams in the world. 

"Juventus have changed a lot - and have changed well - and that is a long story about the good work done by the club. Both clubs have moved very well."

Meanwhile, Olympiacos will play host to Portuguese side Sporting CP.

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BARCELONA v JUVENTUS

- Barcelona has won 13 of its last 16 Champions League group games (D2 L1). It has also scored in 43 of its last 44 group games, the only exception coming against Benfica in December 2012 (0-0) when Barca was already guaranteed to top its group.
- This is Juventus' 18th appearance in the Champions League, a new record for an Italian side ahead of AC Milan (17).
- Lionel Messi has netted 94 goals in the Champions League, the second highest tally in the competition behind Cristiano Ronaldo (105). Ten of his 11 goals last season were scored in the group stages.
- Ernesto Valverde is taking charge of a fourth club in the Champions League after Olympiakos, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao. He has never gone further than the round of 16.
- Massimiliano Allegri has reached the knockout stages in each of his seven campaigns as manager in the Champions League. He was beaten finalist in two of the last three seasons with Juventus.

OLYMPIACOS v SPORTING CP

- Olympiacos is making their 18th appearance in the Champions League, which is twice as many as any other Greek side (Panathinakos, 9). its best performance came in 1998-99 when it reached the quarterfinal.
- Sporting has lost six of its last seven Champions League games (W1), including its last four. It has never lost five in a row in the competition.
- Olympiacos is the third club Besnik Hasi has managed in the Champions League, after Anderlecht (6 games) and Legia Warsaw (1 game). He has only won one of his seven games so far.
- Sporting is Seydou Doumbia's third club in the Champions League after CSKA Moscow and Basel. With 14 goals, he is the second most prolific Ivorian in the competition after Didier Drogba (44).
- Sporting manager Jorge Jesus has taken charge of 40 games in the Champions League, the second most for a Portuguese manager after Jose Mourinho (133). His best performance dates back to 2011-12 when he reached the quarterfinal with Sporting's bitter rival Benfica.

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