Tuesday March 6 2018
Dybala v Dele Alli

Opposing No. 10s Paulo Dybala and Dele Alli will play a key role at Wembley when Juventus take on Tottenham, writes Nick Valerio.

Making his first start in two months, Paulo Dybala gave a timely reminder of his undoubted ability, bagging a priceless last-minute winner against Lazio at the weekend. The Argentine’s heroics proved why he’s so highly regarded, and his estimated worth of over €100m is justified.

With leading marksman Gonzalo Higuain unlikely to be fit for a start in the return leg against Tottenham Hotspur, the former Palermo starlet will need to repeat his domestic exploits to give Juventus hope of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

On a personal level, it’s been a good season for the Bianconeri playmaker. Dybala has already bettered last term’s domestic tally, but it’s the Champions League, so important to the supporters, where he will be judged. The 24-year-old rose to prominence on the continent 11 months ago after his starring performance against Barcelona in the last eight of the tournament, and his double was the difference.

If compatriot Higuain fails to regain fitness, Dybala will either be paired with Mario Mandzukic or act as a False 9, helping the midfield to counter the strong Tottenham base of Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli.

Alli is similarly influential in how his team operate. The Englishman is a different kind of Number 10 to his rival, playing more as a second striker and often very close to star man Harry Kane. The 22-cap international has, by own his high standards, failed to hit the heights of the 2016-17 campaign but has still contributed, particularly on the European stage, and his brace against holders Real Madrid will be fondly remembered.

Aside from his obvious talent, the MK Dons academy graduate has developed a bit of a reputation for the dark arts and has regularly been caught in the middle of a diving storm, and this is something the Bianconeri will need to be mindful of. There is no VAR in the Champions League and Alli can take full advantage of that fact.

On the night, Max Allegri will task responsibility of shackling Alli, and the supply line to Kane, with Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi. The duo are too savvy and experienced to fall for any theatrics, but the threat will be constant from the opening whistle and nullifying Alli will go a long way to cementing their place in the next round.

The tie was billed as 50/50 when the draw was made, and it promises to be an enthralling watch for the neutral. Allegri’s treble chasers will be led by icon Gianluigi Buffon, but passage to the next round will fall at the feet of their talented South American while Lilywhites man Alli will hope for another unforgettable night against another European heavyweight. 

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Have your say...
On Dele Alli's dives: he doesn't sell them well. A lot of players dive these days, some knowing the difference between a weak knock and something serious. If nothing else, it's just to have the whistle blow in your favour.

Alli... seems to forget that cameras exist and we can tell the difference between weak contact and strong. I wouldn't usually celebrate this sort of thing but having Chiellini obliterate Alli with a body check was satisfying.
on the 8th March, 2018 at 4:28pm
@35 sul campo agreed, where are the ppl that were saying juventus were going out for sure? Probably waiting to see who we get next so they can just troll again lol!
on the 8th March, 2018 at 1:34pm
Is it me or is Dybala getting slower but stronger now? Maybe the injuries are taking a toll on him. But, it would be wise if he change his game a bit, just like ADP after coming back from 'That' injury.
on the 8th March, 2018 at 9:16am
Guess we now know who won that battle...

I also want to hear from the typical self professed experts on here who think a 2 leg fixture ends after the first 90 mins. I said before that there's all to play for and that's what happened.

Juve only win in Italy...
on the 8th March, 2018 at 8:20am
Delle Who?????

I only know Delle Alpi or Del Piero. LOL
on the 8th March, 2018 at 3:04am

Speaking of the devil...

Almost had me fooled the anti-juve butthurts didn’t exist for the day...

on the 6th March, 2018 at 11:21pm
Two key points to the match that will decide Juve's fate.

1. Matuidi being a force in the midfield and shutting down Erickson.

That is all.
on the 6th March, 2018 at 10:12pm
You can talk about your Dybala's and your Dele Alli's, but this fellow Sturaro, he's got some skill i tell ya!
on the 6th March, 2018 at 4:47pm
@WhoElseButDybala I would rather wash my mouth after I talk about Juventus thanks.
on the 6th March, 2018 at 4:22pm
Big difference.

One is a football player, the other is an Olympic diver.

"There is no VAR in the Champions League and Alli can take full advantage of that fact"

Let's hope not.
on the 6th March, 2018 at 3:41pm
Player for player, I'd have DYBALA as a firm choice anytime.

As for the match the 2 away goals are very important as is the desire of both Juventus and Spurs to progress in the CL.
on the 6th March, 2018 at 1:13pm
Juve have a 20% chance of advancing, and will need a minor miracle!The key is their midfield,which has looked unimaginative,tired&tactically out of depth at times.Marchisio, for whatever reason does not have the faith of Allegri anymore,and I think he is a better option than Khediera,but the key is Matuidi,he must run the midfield,breaking up Spurs attack,and starting Juve's own QUICKLY!Allegri made a wrong comment,saying Spurs can't defend like Lazio,but Spurs are MUCH better in attack though!
on the 6th March, 2018 at 12:42pm
The Delle Alpi stadium no longer exists! Juventus now play at the Allianz Stadium, formerly the Juventus Stadium. Regardless, this tie is in London at Wembley. Dybala vs Wembley should be the title.
on the 6th March, 2018 at 12:24pm
Hate being 'that guy', but the premise of the article kind of falls apart when you consider that Alli wears #20 (not #10). I read the article twice to see if you mentioned his playing in the #10 'role', as opposed to wearing #10, which would have made sense. But you didn't.
on the 6th March, 2018 at 9:42am

Rather crash out of CL and win the Scudetto. Than to manage to knock out Spurs and end up getting knocked out or loosing the final anyways.

No shame in exitting CL. Juve supporters have unjust high expectations.

Let's go for the 7th Scudetto, would be such a joy to remind other teams and former players to "wash their mouths before talking about Juventus". ;)

Forza Juve
on the 6th March, 2018 at 8:32am
Bye bye Juventus
on the 6th March, 2018 at 1:07am

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