Barcelona has another mountain to climb in 2nd leg vs. Juventus

Juventus players clash with Barcelona playersBarcelona is hoping lightning strikes twice at Camp Nou. For the second time in as many rounds, they have a massive deficit to overcome in order to keep their Champions League run alive. Juventus carries a 3-0 aggregate advantage into the second leg of their quarterfinal tie Wednesday, but as Barcelona showed against Paris Saint-Germain, no lead is truly safe from their devastating attack.

That attack was on full display in their miraculous 6-1 win over PSG, with a brace from Neymar and goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Messi leads all players with 11 Champions League goals, and he and Barcelona thrive on home turf, averaging more than the three goals they will need to level the score.

But Juventus is much better than an average defensive team, having only allowed two goals thus far in Champions League play. Finding a way to put three goals past a team that rarely gives up one seems like an insurmountable task, and with Gianluigi Buffon in goal for Juventus it seems downright impossible. Defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini were more than capable of dealing with Barcelona in the first leg, and they have experience anchoring the Juventus backline to a Champions League final appearance in 2015, so the pressure shouldn’t faze them.

In their haste to attack, Barcelona will need to be wary of their own end, since an away goal from Paulo Dybala seems like a real possibility. He was too nimble and agile for Barcelona to handle in Turin, scoring a brace in the opening 22 minutes, and Barcelona’s defense is looking thin due to injuries. Javier Mascherano will likely be unavailable due to a left leg ailment, while Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets missed a training session but are expected to play. One away goal from Juventus means Barcelona needs five to advance instead of three, and Buffon has never conceded five goals in a Champions League match.

Should Barcelona defy the odds again and advance to the semifinals, they would join fellow Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, who both advanced on Tuesday.