Coral’s combined Juventus and Borussia Dortmund starting XI
Juventus and Borussia Dortmund renew their Champions League rivalry almost 20 years after the Bundesliga outfit upset the Italian giants in the 1997 final.
Coral make both these two teams short prices to qualify for the quarter-finals, offering 5/6 on the Serie A champions and even-money on the 2013 runners-up in Europe’s elite club competition.
To reminisce for a moment longer, France icon Zinedine Zidane was famously marked out of that game by Paul Lambert, recently sacked as Aston Villa boss, partnered by Paulo Sousa in Dortmund’s engine room.
The Juve side that day contained superstars like Christian Vieri and World Cup-winning captain Didier Deschamps, while Turin team legend Alessandro Del Piero scored off the bench, but was unable to inspire the Old Lady, who lost 3-1.
It was Lars Ricken that sealed victory for Dortmund, scoring immediately after coming on himself. Karl-Heinz Riedle had earlier bagged a first-half brace. Relive the goals in the video below:
Fast-forwarding back to today, our football experts got thinking about which current Juventus and BVB players would make into a combined XI based on performances in Europe so far? So, we picked one. Do you agree with our selections?
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon
Long-serving Juve stopper Buffon has kept 30 Champions League clean sheets in 73 appearances in the competition for the Turin titans. Winning this trophy, and the international football equivalent (the Euros), is all that is missing from his honours. It’s 8/5 for the hosts to shut Dortmund out.
Right back: Lukasz Piszczek
Poland international Piszczek continues to be a great outlet on this flank of defence for Dortmund with three assists from four Champions League group stage appearances this term. That is more than enough to edge out Juventus and Switzerland counterpart Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Centre back: Leonardo Bonucci
Had Dortmund captain Mats Hummels been fit to play a bigger part in the group stage, then this berth would have definitely gone to him. It’s Bonucci who profits, however, as he has been an ever-present for Juve in Europe so far.
Centre back: Neven Subotic
Like Bonucci, Serbia centre back Subotic has played every minute of the Champions League campaign. Both back-lines have kept three clean sheets to date.
Left back: Giorgio Chiellini
With the likes of Marcel Schmelzer and Patrice Evra underwhelming with their continental contributions, we’ve gone for Chiellini in this berth. When deputising outside central defence, he always manages to do a sterling job, so this is not a stretch to imagine.
Central midfield: Paul Pogba
France’s golden boy Pogba has made a key contribution to Juventus getting this far in Europe. He scored what turned out to be the winner in a 3-2 victory over Olympiakos. Pogba is a 5/1 chance to net again anytime.
Central midfield: Andrea Pirlo
Azzurri playmaker Pirlo remains hugely influential to the Turin team, and was also on target in that vital victory with a free-kick. He keeps clubmates Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal, who has disappointed somewhat this term, out of our all-star XI. Why now relive some of Pirlo’s finest free-kicks below:
Central midfield: Shinji Kagawa
While that move to Manchester United didn’t work out for Japan ace Kagawa, he has returned to Dortmund and looked more like his old self. Two assists in the group stage get him in ahead of Westfalenstadion colleagues Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan.
Right wing: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Three goals and laying on two more for teammates in Europe gets versatile Gabon forward Aubameyang in wide right. He is included ahead of Roberto Pereyra, with Aubameyang a 15/8 first leg anytime scorer chance against Juventus.
Striker: Carlos Tevez
Leading our line is Serie A’s top scorer Tevez, who has also netted three times in Europe’s elite club competition so far. Former Juve youngster Ciro Immobile is unfortunate to miss out on selection, with four in five Champions League appearances.
Other Dortmund frontman Adrian Ramos has also impressed, while the Old Lady need more from Spanish duo Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Morata. Tevez, meanwhile, is 11/2 to break the deadlock in the first leg.
Left wing: Marco Reus
Completing our line-up is Reus and, although like Hummels he has missed matches through injury, he boasts a perfect Champions League scoring record this term of two in two. Creative Slovenia international Kevin Kampl could make his European debut for Dortmund here, while Kingsley Coman could do the same for Juventus.