UEFA Champions League ball on the plinth at Old Trafford.

United v Juventus: The big match preview

Tuesday 23 October 2018 11:19

Manchester United are back in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday night when we welcome our long-standing rivals Juventus to Old Trafford.

The Reds have claimed four points from our opening two Group H games, and a win would be a massive step towards qualification for the last 16.

However, it won't be an easy task against the Italian champions, who have former United star Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks.  

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the big match at the Theatre of Dreams…

United v Juventus

Tuesday 23 October | UEFA Champions League | Old Trafford | Live build-up on MUTV from 18:30 BST | Kick-off at 20:00 BST

The boss confirmed in Monday's press conference that Alexis Sanchez, who was introduced from the bench at the weekend against Chelsea, will miss the game through injury but captain Antonio Valencia could return after having surgery on his mouth. Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay could also be absent once again, after not being involved in the part of Monday's training session that was open to the media. 

Cristiano Ronaldo will be available for the Old Lady after serving his one-match European suspension in their 3-0 win over Young Boys last time out, following his red card in the 2-0 victory at Valencia on matchday one. However, former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic and ex-Real Madrid man Sami Khedira won't be available for the trip to Old Trafford after the trio weren't included in the squad that travelled to England on Monday.

They sit top of Serie A, with 25 points from their first nine league games this season. The Old Lady's perfect start to the campaign ended on Saturday, when they dropped their first points of the season in the league following a 1-1 draw with Genoa. The visitors also lead Champions League Group H heading into matchday three, having taken maximum points from both of their games so far and are yet to concede a goal in Europe’s elite competition.

Massimiliano Allegri was appointed as Juventus manager in 2014 and has won the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia in each of his four seasons in charge. The former AC Milan boss led Juve to the 2017 Champions League final, where they were defeated 4-1 in Cardiff by a Real Madrid side inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Surprisingly, United haven’t faced Juventus in 15 years, since one of our most memorable European away nights. The Reds made light work of a Juve side that boasted Gianluigi Buffon, Pavel Nedved and David Trezeguet, winning 3-0 in Turin thanks a Ryan Giggs double and a second-half strike from Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman also netted the last time Juve visited Old Trafford, six days earlier, when a rare Wes Brown goal helped the Reds to a 2-1 victory.

Our record against Juve

We have met the Italians on 12 previous occasions - both teams have won five games and there have been two draws. However, the Reds have won the last three encounters.

This will be our 36th game against opponents from Italy - the first of which came in 1958, against AC Milan. Overall, the Reds have won 17 of the previous encounters, drawn five and lost 13. Our last meeting against a club from Serie A came in 2010, when we defeated AC Milan 4-0 at Old Trafford to complete a memorable 7-2 victory on aggregate and progress to the Champions League quarter-finals. In fact, United have won the last three games against Italian sides and haven’t lost any of the last eight.

Cristiano Ronaldo will play at Old Trafford for only the second time since he departed the club in the summer of 2009, having scored for Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid in a 2-1 win in a last-16 tie in 2013. Since leaving the Reds, the Portuguese star has won two La Liga and Copa del Rey titles, the Champions League four times, as well as leading Portugal to success in Euro 2016. On a personal level, Cristiano has also won the Ballon d’Or five times and become Real Madrid and Portugal’s all time-record goalscorer, as well as the leading scorer in the UEFA Champions League, in which he has registered an incredible 120 goals. After a relatively slow start to life in Turin, Cristiano has now scored five in his last six domestic games and became the first player to net 400 goals in Europe's top five leagues in the weekend draw at home to Genoa. 

A big night for Pogba

Paul will face his former club for the first time since joining United from Juventus in 2016. During four years in Turin, he scored 34 goals in 178 games and won four Serie A titles.

Experienced Serbian official Milorad Mazic will take charge of Tuesday’s proceedings. The 45-year-old oversaw last season's Champions League final, when Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1, and the World Cup quarter-final between Brazil and Belgium. He last refereed United during a 2-1 Europa League defeat against Fenerbahce in November 2016. Fellow countrymen Milovan Ristic and Dalibor Durdevic will be Mazic’s assistants at Old Trafford, while Nemanja Petrovic will be the fourth official. Nenad Dokic and Danilo Grujic will fulfill the roles of additional assistant referees. 

As usual, all 32 teams involved in the competition are in action across Tuesday and Wednesday. Here’s the full schedule of fixtures….

Tuesday 23 October
Group E: AEK Athens v Bayern Munich (17:55 BST)
Group E: Ajax v Benfica
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City
Group F: Hoffenheim v Lyon
Group G: Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen
Group G: Roma v CSKA Moscow
Group H: Young Boys v Valencia (17:55 BST)
Group H: Manchester United v Juventus

Wednesday 24 October
Group A: Club Brugge v Monaco (17:55 BST)
Group A: Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid
Group B: PSV Eindhoven v Tottenham Hotspur (17:55 BST)
Group B: Barcelona v Inter Milan
Group C: Liverpool v Red Star Belgrade
Group C: Paris Saint Germain v Napoli
Group D: Galatasaray v FC Schalke 04
Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow v FC Porto

Kick-off times are 20:00 BST unless stated otherwise.

Start your matchday with Jose's Q&A


In our exclusive sit-down interview, the boss discusses tonight's huge clash with Juventus and Ronaldo's return.

'It's special for me to return'


Ronaldo declares his affection for United, while Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri assesses a difference in playing style.

'There are lots of emotions for me'


Paul Pogba cannot wait to face his former club when Italian champions Juventus visit Old Trafford this evening.

"It’s why I signed for this club"


United striker Romelu Lukaku is ready for the ultimate test against one of Europe's best defences.