October 10, 2022 Sports Review
The fate of both teams in the Champions League is on the line when Group H rivals Maccabi Haifa and Juventus rematch on Tuesday at Sammy Ofer Stadium, six days after their first meeting in Turin.
Juve won last week, moving them three points ahead of the Israeli champions in the standings despite having dropped four of their last seven games overall.
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After two Champions League games in the midst of a slow start to the 2022–23 campaign, Juventus was stuck at the bottom of Group H with no points, sitting next to their opponents for the third matchday.
Victory at the Allianz Stadium was unquestionably necessary for either club if they were to start catching up to the pace-setters after giving Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica a six-point lead. Max Allegri’s struggling team found it difficult to pull off the victory.
Juve had an inspired Angel Di Maria performance to thank for their 3-1 victory, with the Argentinean maestro registering a hat-trick of deft assists – and if Dusan Vlahovic’s finishing had been sharper, he may have had five. Despite their opponents hitting the post twice and pulling themselves back within one goal in the 75th minute.
Adrien Rabiot also scored twice, but Angel Di Maria’s skill was what really set the teams apart. The Bianconeri were greatly disappointed by the absence of Di Maria in Saturday’s embarrassing loss to Milan.
At San Siro, Juventus lost to the Italian champions 2-0 despite controlling possession and barely posing an offensive threat. Rafael Leao also twice hit the post for Juventus as they fell short of one of their supposed title rivals.
Juve currently sits eighth in Serie A after nine rounds, and their decline has largely been caused by their terrible away form: they have collected just two points from four road trips this season, in addition to losing in Paris. Any attempt to reclaim the Scudetto after two barren years now seems light-years away.
Juventus has lost all four of its road league games for the first time in 40 years, and as they still trail Group H’s top two teams by four points following last week’s draw between Benfica and PSG, they must win in Israel to keep themselves in contention to advance to the Champions League knockout stages.
Maccabi Haifa has now lost to Juventus in all three of their meetings after falling to them 1-0 at home and away in the 2009–10 group stage. However, they will have seen enough chinks in the Bianconeri’s armor last week to aim for at least a first point on Tuesday.
The impact of goalscorer Dean David in Turin – who scored after fellow substitute Omer Atzili clipped the post – is fuel for the fire upon the Greens’ return to Sammy Ofer Stadium, where they are now anchored to the bottom of Group H and still waiting to get off to a winning start.
Although they have only scored twice in their last nine Champions League group games, Haifa are now clear outsiders to defeat their opponents and at the very least secure a spot in the Europa League knockout phase.
Barak Bakhar’s team have already come a long way to feature among Europe’s elite, and even if they crash out next month they are well placed to book a return ticket for next year. They joined qualifying in the second round this summer thanks to winning another Israeli Premier League title last season.
They remain at the top of the domestic standings despite suffering their second league loss of the year on Saturday, a loss to Maccabi Bnei Raina. They now hope to make history by taking down a significant opponent in the Champions League.
The host team should anticipate scoring at least once in front of their own supporters because Juventus hasn’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last five Champions League games.The visitors are currently extremely weak, and things may get worse for them on Tuesday.