Dinamo Zagreb versus Juventus brings and opportunity for Max Allegri and his boys to redeem themselves. A few quick facts and stats.
After failing to see off Sevilla in their opening game, Juventus (Max Allegri in particular) has been faced with heavy criticisms. Then followed by the defeat to Inter Milan, their first in a long time. Max Allegri and his boys may have got back on track in their last couple of matches, but tomorrow night's Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb brings them back under the nay sayers' radar.
Here are key facts before the match preview:
- The Croatian champions started their campaign with a 3-0 away defeat to French side Olympique Lyon
- Last season, Dinamo Zagreb beat Arsenal 2-1, making it their first victory on the first day of UEFA Champions League campaign since 16 years. They then lost the other two home games and the three other away games, coming last in the group.
- No team from the Croatian has gone past the group stages for the past five attempts. In fact, in all of 12 attempts in both UEFA Champions League and Europa League, they have never managed to go through the round.
- After a 1-1 home draw with FC Salzburg in the qualifying rounds, Dinamo Zagreb found themselves chasing the game in the 87th minute before Junior Fernandes scored the equalizer. They then went on to qualify on 2-1 aggregate after Suodani El Arabi secured the victory in extra time.
- Zagreb has not hosted an Italian team since the 1-0 victory over Parma in the second round of the 2000/01 UEFA cup, but lost on 2-1 aggregate. All of their 3 wins against Italian oppositions were all at home, in all of 17
- With the 0-0 draw versus Sevilla, the Bianconeri had one of those absolute meh start to the European campaign with their best chance of the match coming from Gonzalo Higuain who hit the woodwork. The rest of the match was watching how the Juventus team failed to break down the Justice League defense ...#BlameAllegri
- The 2014/15 runner up started their campaign with a 2-1 win over Manchester City, while the rest of their trips were ended in a draw against VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach and a bitter defeat against Sevilla, a result that left them in second place. They were then drawn with FC Bayern Munich...
- ... We all remembered what happened after that...#BlameAllegri
- The only other time Juventus faced a Croatian team was against KNK Rijeka in the 1979/80 Cup Winner's Cup which ended in a 0-0 draw (again?!!!). Fortunately, Juventus won 2-0 at home to qualify for the next round.
If there's ever any other person who still has faith in Max Allegri and his team like me, please throw in your predictions below... with Juventus the winner of the two of course...
Photo: Valeri Pennicino/ Getty