Juventus will fight for their continental future when they host Paris Saint-Germain in UEFA Champions League Group H on Wednesday. Third in the pool and level on points with Maccabi Haifa, a win or even a draw could very well send the Italian giants packing on the European scene. After losing in Israel, Massimiliano Allegri’s men need to beat undefeated PSG here to be sure of a Europa League berth, while a draw could see Haifa overtake the Old Lady at the last minute if they surprise visitors SL Benfica.
“Obviously, it is better to qualify ahead of the final game,” said Allegri’s opposite number, Christophe Galtier, before the game. “That was a non-negotiable with PSG. Topping the group is an objective. We know what can happen in the draw when you finish second. People think that there is not much riding on this one — there is. It is our duty to finish first to set up a more favorable draw. Juve might be eliminated, but they will want the Europa League. It is an historic club with much pride.”
“Juve never had their strongest XI available.We you are missing world class players like Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa, obviously you are weaker. Even with mentality and desire, you need experience and world class talent. Juve have been deprived of their best players.”
How to watch and odds
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 2 | Time: 4 p.m. ETLocation: Juventus Stadium — Turin, Italy
TV and live stream: Paramount+
Odds: Juve +350; Draw +300; PSG -143 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured game Juventus vs PSG
spread Moneyline Total
JUV +0.5 +400 o2.5
PSG -0.5 -165 u2.5
Juve: Things are desperate for Allegri who has his side seventh in Serie A and dropping down a level at best in Europe. Juve have lost four of five Champions League games this edition and visitors PSG are yet to lose a game across all competitions. The Italians are suffering from a malaise which has been present for quite some time now and succumbing to a shock exit from continental competition entirely would almost certainly seal Allegri’s fate in what has been a near-disastrous second spell in Turin. Three wins from their last four comes from improved domestic form, but there is clearly a big gulf between Juve’s Serie A opponents and their Champions League ones.
“Today is a strange press conference,” said Allegri. “It is the first in many years where we play without it being decisive for the Champions League. Now in the Europa League we try to go there, it is still Europe, we have to play a fair match, we face one of the strongest in Europe.
“I spoke with Pogba earlier,” added the Italian. “It is pointless repeating what has already been said, once the decision was made not to have surgery at the start of the season, it was normal that hopes that he could return with Juventus and France were slim. He is sorry for Juve and the World Cup — it is normal that we were penalised for not having him available.”
PSG: Galtier’s men will be without Neymar in Italy due to suspension and the French giants are certain to advance in one of the top two positions in Group H. Les Parisiens remain unbeaten this season despite a spirited performance by ESTAC Troyes at Parc des Princes over the weekend and Benfica are neck and neck with the Ligue 1 leaders heading into this final round of games. PSG arguably face the tougher away day, but Haifa have proved very difficult opponents on home soil too and could yet shock Benfica to help Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and teammates into top spot.
“We are not obliged to beat Juve just because it has not been done before,” added Galtier. “We want to play to win as top spot is important to us. Juve are eliminated and that is unfortunate for them, but we are focused on what we need to do.”
“Presnel had rejoined the group and was able to be part of our last Champions League game,” explained Galtier regarding Presnel Kimpmembe’s absence along with Keylor Navas. “Everything was fine until he felt a further bit of soreness in his tendon. He was in too much pain to be a part of this game, but there is nothing alarming regarding our remaining matches.”
Regardless of Neymar’s unavailability, PSG should have enough to see Juve off here. However, given the high stakes, the hosts cannot afford to lose. A draw sounds about right and it would not be a surprise if Haifa hold Benfica in Israel to ensure that Group H stays as is with PSG top and Juve dropping into the Europa League
PICK: Juve 1-1 PSG.