Juventus should be on everyone’s lips to be Champions League winners

If you haven’t noticed Juventus are absolutely flying this season and our writer feels they can go all the way in Europe’s top club tournament…

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If Sky had the rights for Serie A, we’d all be making Juventus the favourites to win the Champions League because they’re miles ahead of everyone else.

But our heads are consistently turned by Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher’s obsession with the finer details of a league that, in truth, doesn’t stand heads and shoulders above any other major league in Europe.

For one, Juventus might be the only elite level European side that can actually defend when they want to – thus giving them complete control over the tempo of any given game.

There’s a beautiful lesson in this, too. Naturally, Ronaldo was prolific in the Premier League.

Had he not been, we’d be hearing the same boring arguments people put up about Messi and Stoke in some sort of midweek, ill-weathered rite of passage into footballing greatness.

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But that logic simply doesn’t match up, and even looking lacklustre in the Premier League doesn’t mean a whole lot. Emre Can was the epitome of average in that Liverpool team and they’re more fluid without him.

It doesn’t mean he isn’t a top-level footballer – sometimes not being great at Liverpool simply means you’re not great at Liverpool.

There are people, because of immersion to the Premier League, that would tell you John Stones is a better defender than Giorgio Chiellini.

But looking at their squad – they’ve clearly got more difference makers than any other defence-first side in Europe. And because of this balance, they’re best-set to topple Manchester City in transitions where they give away the ball, they’re best-set to deal with the barrage that Liverpool throw at you, and they’re cynical enough to cope with the likes of Neymar and Mbappe.

Who else is there? Real Madrid? There’s more hope and Jose Mourinho winning another European title than there is of that mess being fixed any time soon.

The same can apply with Barcelona. While they’re evidently in better shape than their fellow Spanish giants, they move the ball a step slower than they used to, meaning they’re less incisive.

They’ve also shipped 14 times in La Liga this season, including twice to join-bottom Rayo Vallecano at the weekend.

Here are a list of players that would rapidly improve Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City: Giorgio Chiellini, Miralem Pjanic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi, Douglas Costa, Andrea Barzagli.

They’d also gladly swap Phil Foden for another promising youngster in Rodrigo Bentancur.

But Juventus aren’t marketed to death by a Sky juggernaut desperate to cling onto their prized possession as they continue to lose the rights to every other sporting spectacle on the planet.

Manchester United are going to be ripped apart in Turin on Wednesday night and then you’ll have the experts writing Mourinho’s men as subpar, when the focus should really be on the victors.

The only thing separating the two sides is the best coach on the planet, but Juve alleviate this gap by dragging teams down to their level and forcing them to play on their terms as opposed to being dictated.

They’re the only team in the world, who, out of possession, look like they’re the more dangerous side.

The only thing separating Juve with a favourites tag for the Champions League is ignorance and a digital television subscription.

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