Juventus faces a daunting trip to Manchester City on Tuesday as last year’s Champions League runner-up looks to Europe to help it forget its domestic woes.
Juventus got off to its worst ever Serie A start as the four-time defending champion lost its first two matches for the first time. It also needed a late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw against Chievo Verona on Saturday.
“We’re going to Manchester to play to win, as we always do,” Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta said. “The job of a coach in a situation like this is to make his players understand that the Champions League has different difficulties to the league.
“We mustn’t allow ourselves to rest on our laurels from past achievements, but we need to focus on the present with the future always at the forefront of our thinking. That’s the Juve way.”
Juventus overhauled its squad in the summer following the departures of top players Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal — all of whom made the 10-man shortlist for the 2014/15 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award.
New signings such as Mario Mandzukic are still settling in, although Paulo Dybala has scored twice in his first three Serie A matches for the club.
Juventus was hit by another blow with the news that key midfielder Claudio Marchisio will miss the trip to England and could be out for a month after injuring his right thigh on his comeback from a similar injury.
Sevilla hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach in the group’s other match, with both sides also still seeking a first win of the season.
Here are some things to know about Tuesday’s Group D matches:
SERGIO AGUERO OUT FOR CITY
With five wins from five games and a stern defense that is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League, Manchester City heads into its opening Champions League game against Juventus in impressive form.
But Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace came at a cost.
Sergio Aguero was substituted 25 minutes into the game with a knee injury sustained from a heavy sliding challenge by Palace defender Scott Dann. The extent of the problem is unknown but he will be absent for Tuesday’s game.
“Sergio is not fit for tomorrow,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said.
City has been boosted by the returns of Raheem Sterling and David Silva, who both missed the Palace encounter with hamstring and ankle problems respectively.
Wilfried Bony is the only other recognized striker, with Saturday’s match-winner Kelechi Iheanacho not included in City’s Champions League squad.
Attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, a summer signing from Wolfsburg, could make his first start for his new club.