Monday 21 May 2018

Barca wary of Dybala threat in Juve clash

Barcelona v Juventus, live, BT Sport Extra, 7.45

Juventus' Paulo Dybala. Photo: Reuters
Juventus' Paulo Dybala. Photo: Reuters

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is wary of the danger posed by Juventus forward Paulo Dybala ahead of their opening Champions League Group D game tonight.

Dybala struck twice in Juve's 3-0 aggregate quarter-final win over Barca last season and is set to start at the Nou Camp.

"He's a player that has a lot of quality ... what we can see from outside is that he still wants to improve, he's a player who can make the difference," Ter Stegen said.

Argentine Dybala has scored seven goals in four games for Juventus this season, including a hat-trick against Genoa in Serie A on August 26.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde agreed that Dybala posed a threat but was concerned with Juve as a team.

"He's an important player in his team, in Europe and in the world, we know that," said the coach. "But so are (Gonzalo) Higuain and (Andrea) Barzagli. I fear Juventus for their consistency, what they've done, how they play, that's what worries me about the team."

Dybala, considered one of the most promising young players in the world, will be keeping one eye on international team-mate Lionel Messi.

The 23-year-old said Messi is someone he can learn a lot from, as he bids to one day reach the same standing as the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"(Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) will keep playing for many years. I would like to arrive at their level, but it's not easy because they have incredible numbers," said Dybala. "I'm lucky to play with Messi for the national team, I've learned many things. I can pick up a lot from him in terms of how he reads the play, how he thinks, how he sees the movement of his team-mates. This will help me a lot for the future."

Juventus lost last season's Champions League final 4-1 to Real Madrid in Cardiff and manager Massimiliano Allegri urged his team to start their new European campaign with a bang.

"It's the first game of the Champions League after last year's run and the disappointment of defeat. We have to start with great desire," said Allegri.

Irish Independent

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