Juventus know that a defeat to La Liga champions Atletico Madrid leaves them in a precarious position in Group A of the Champions League, so their main man in attack – Carlos Tevez – will have to be on top form to send the Italian giants through.
The Old Lady tumbled out of the competition at the group stages last season, when their abandoned match with Galatasaray was continued, and the Italians were dumped out thanks to a 1-0 defeat. Juventus, this season, under Massimiliano Allegri look strong and capable of beating the Spanish champions to make it through to the knockout stages of the competition and top Group A.
Tevez was underperforming in the competition last season but has transformed this time around. He has three goals from the opening five group games this season which is three times more than any other player at Juventus. He’s also created 12 chances which is the best at the club, too, with Arturo Vidal coming closest with nine.
It is safe to say that for everything good that has happened to Juventus in this season’s competition so far, it has almost certainly been down to Carlos Tevez. He has been magnificent and will give Atletico star defender, Diego Godin, a right handful tonight.
The Uruguayan was a colossus for Atletico Madrid last season as he scored the goal that won La Liga at the Nou Camp. He also scored the opening goal in the Champions League final that came within seconds of sealing the triumph from Real Madrid. And to add another to a long list of great personal moments, it was Godin’s goal that sent Uruguay through to the knockout rounds of the World Cup in the summer.
He’s not just a threat from set-pieces, though. He has scored in the Champions League this season but he has also won 18 out of 26 headed duels.
Fortunately for Tevez then, that Juventus will probably not target the Argentine with long, heavy balls up front. His tenacious work ethic and dribbling ability could cause Godin problems, considering the Uruguayan has only won half of his 16 attempted tackles in the Champions League.
Tevez’s ability on the ball will put Godin under intense pressure. If it was a straight fight in the air between the pair, Godin would win quite comfortably, but considering the Argentine has completed 10 out of 14 take-ons in the Champions League this season, it could be a long and testing evening for Godin.
The former Manchester United and Manchester City striker has converted 21.4% of his shots into goals in the competition so far so hasn’t need many chances to score which is another threat he poses. Some strikers like Edinson Cavani need a few chances under their belt before finally hitting the back of the net but Tevez is quite clinical, especially when he’s on form.
His finishing is quite consistent across the board having converted 23.1% of his chances in Serie A, scoring nine goals in 13 matches.