Juventus
    Juventus
      24.08.2017 20:45 - in: Champions League S

      A closer look at Group D

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      Learn more about Juve's opponents in group D as the road to Kiev begins.

      Juventus discovered their 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw on Thursday night in Monaco and the Bianconeri will face Barcelona, Olympiacos and Sporting Clube de Lisbon as the road to Kiev begins.

      Here’s everything to know about our three UCL group stage opponents:

      FC BARCELONA

      All Bianconeri fans will be very familiar with Barcelona just five months on from Juve’s 3-0 aggregate victory over Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals. 

      It has been a summer of change for the Blaugrana with Brazilian forward Neymar leaving for Paris Saint-Germain, though they have strengthened the side with another Brazilian, Paulinho, as well as Nelson Semedo from Benfica and Gerard Deulofeu returning from Everton. 

      Of course, the Spanish side still boasts one of the strongest teams in Europe with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta leading the way. Barcelona hold five European Cups, tied for third-most in the competition's history, including four won since 2006. 

      Aside from last year, the two sides met in the 2015 Champions League final but they have have never been placed together in the group stage.

      OLYMPIACOS

      Juventus will face Olympiacos for the second group stage in the last four seasons. Back in 2014, the Bianconeri earned a 3-2 win in the home leg and fell 1-0 away. 

      Olympiacos are the seven-time defending Greek champions having finished six points ahead of PAOK at the top of the table in the 2016/17 season. They enter the group stage after defeating Partizan Belgrade and Rijeka in qualifying rounds and return to the group stage after missing out last term.

      Olympiacos have proved a formidable foe at home in the Champions League having won eight out of their last 12 in the group stage at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium. 

      The Greek side features plenty of names that will be familiar to Serie A fans as this window they’ve acquired midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis after an extensive career in Italy at clubs including Roma, Genoa and Torino.

      Attacking midfielder Marko Marin will likely pull the strings for Olympiacos having joined prior to the last campaign, while Nigerian international forward Emmanuel Emenike was added from Fenerbahce this summer to add more goals to the attack.

      SPORTING CLUBE DE PORTUGAL

      The third and final group stage opponent for Juventus will represent a brand new experience as the Bianconeri will face Sporting Clube de Portugal for the first time ever in the Champions League.

      Sporting qualified for the UCL playoff round having finished third in the Portuguese top flight last season and defeated Steaua Bucharest 5-1 on aggregate to make it into the group stage. The capital club is no stranger to this level of the competition playing in their third group stage in the last four seasons. Last year, Sporting faced Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Legia Warsaw, going W 1 D 0 L 5 in six matches.

      Sporting play at the Estádio José Alvalade which opened in 2003 and hosted five matches in Euro 2004. They boast a backline that has been strengthened this summer with the signings of veterans Jeremy Mathieu and Fabio Coentrao and attacking talent like Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz, Portugal international winger Gelson Martins and Dutch striker Bas Dost.

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