Juventus and Barcelona have been two sides that have started their seasons on fire, with strong performances in both their domestic competitions and the UEFA Champions League.
Both clubs are top of their respective tables and are both heavy favourites to win Europe’s top club competition.
But which side is stronger?
It is still early in the season, however let’s see who the better team can be this season:
The Italian giants are undefeated in both this season’s Serie A and Champions League.
Wins against Napoli and Lazio have set them up for the next part of the season, while their victories over Valencia and Young Boys in the Champions League are a prelude to a mouth-watering clash with Manchester United.
Juve came into the season losing a handful of quality players, including icon Gianluigi Buffon, Claudio Marchisio and Gonzalo Higuain. However, they replaced them with gold, with none other than Cristiano Ronaldo joining from Real Madrid for €100 million. Emre Can, Joao Cancelo and Leonardo Bonucci also are new arrivals to Allianz Stadium.
Their attack has been integral to their success so far. Mario Mandzukic has four league goals in six appearances, while Cristiano Ronaldo has netted three. Paulo Dybala has three goals in the Champions League, which came from a hat-trick in Juve’s 3-0 victory over Young Boys.
Their defence has also been strong this season. Only five goals have been conceded in the Serie A, including three clean sheets. No goals have been scored against them in the Champions League. Cancelo and Bonucci have been important parts of their defence, while Giorgio Chiellini and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny have also been strong.
Fixtures against Milan, Internazionale and Roma are still to come in the next couple of months, however if Juventus continue their impressive form, they will fear no one.
The Spanish giants lead the La Liga at this stage of the season, with four wins, two draws and single loss. They also have won their opening two Champions League matches.
An 8-2 thrashing of Huesca in September stands out for Barca, while a 4-0 thumping of PSV and an away 4-2 win over Tottenham have them set up for progression to the next round of the Champions League, with a fascinating clash with Internazionale to come.
The departure of club legend Andres Iniesta was a blow, however Barcelona managed to sign Chilean international Arturo Vidal. Barca currently have a range of quality players in their squad and did not have to utilise the transfer market as much as some other big clubs.
Barcelona’s attack is outstanding, scoring 18 goals so far in the La Liga and 8 goals in two Champions League matches. Lionel Messi has five La Liga goals in seven appearances this season and an incredible five goals in two in the Champions League.
There is no doubt that Lionel Messi is on fire at the moment and combined with Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, Barca will be very strong up front.
In terms of their defence, they have conceded eight goals in the La Liga, the most out of the first five clubs on the table. Their surprise defeat to Leganes last week shows that they are beatable, however they will be determined to stop that from happening again.
Some big matches are still to come for Ernesto Valverde’s men, including the El Clasico against Real Madrid and fixtures against Valencia and Sevilla all to come in the month of October.
Should Messi continue to score goals for fun, Barcelona could end up with both the La Liga and Champions League trophies.
There is no doubt that both Juventus and Barcelona are currently two of the best sides in the world and it is very likely that these two will face each other in the latter stages of this season’s Champions League.
Messi may be the man that fires Barca to glory this season, however with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo and their strong form, Juventus has what it takes to reach greater heights.