Our match prediction:
The most frequent UEFA Champions League participants from the Balkan region, Dinamo Zagreb, opened their European account with a 3-0 loss at Lyon and their job is not going to be any less difficult this time out as Croatian heavyweights are playing host to Serie A champions and one of the biggest European clubs, Juventus. Following their crushing 5-2 defeat to fellow title contenders Rijeka, Dinamo Zagreb parted ways with their coach Zlatko Kranjcar and the tie against Juventus comes at a bad time for the Croatian side. As for the Italian rivals, the Old Lady managed to bounce back from the 2-1 defeat to Juventus and notch back-to-back wins over Cagliari and Palermo last time out so it if fair to say that Juve travel to Croatia feeling energised with their last two performances. The game at Stadion Maksimir will be an emotional affair for Marko Pjaca who joined Juve from Dinamo Zagreb this summer and we predict that he will be having a successful return as his new team are considered heavy favourites to grab the three points.
Highligted Player (El Arabi Hillel Soudani):
The 28-year-old Algeria international forward El Arabi Hillel Soudani has been with Dinamo Zagreb since 2013. He began his professional career at ASO Chief and has also represented Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes. Algeria's seventh-highest goalscorer in history, Soudani featured in 2013 and 2015 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Soon after his arrival to Croatia, El Arani Hillal Soudani became one of the most valuable members of the first-team. The 28-year-old striker scored some of the highly important goals for the club, one of which was his UEFA Champions League playoff goal during extra time of the match with RB Salzburg in August 2016. The Algeria international scored a winning goal for his side in a 2-1 triumph which was enough to secure a Champions League group stage participation for the Croatian giants, their fourth since 2010.
Highlighted Team (Juventus):
Juventus are considered one of the greatest European football clubs. The Bianconeri (The White and Blacks) have won two Champions League trophies (1985, 1996) and they did well to clinch three UEFA Cup titles (1977, 1990, 1993). The Italian giants have won 32 Serie A trophies and it is well known that a number of star players were part of Juve in the past. The likes of Alessandro Del Piero, Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, Lilian Thuram, Filippo Inzaghi, Pavel Nedved and David Trezeguet all played for Juventus, whilst legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has yet to retire. Juve were stripped two domestic trophies during the “Calciopoli” scandal, but despite being relegated to Serie B, the club quickly brought glory days back to Turin. The Bianconeri used to play their home games at Stadio delle Alpi, but nowadays they welcome their rivals at Juventus Stadium. The capacity of the stadium is 41,475. La Vechhia Signora (The Old Lady) is yet another nickname of the club. Juve’s biggest rivals are Torino and the two local rivals take on each other in the Turin derby.