An hour spent in the museum attached to Juventus's sparkling new stadium is a journey into a land of heroes, from Altafini and Anastasi to Zidane and Zoff via a galaxy of immortals wearing the colours of a club founded in 1897 by a group of Turin schoolboys. The current team, it must be said, are doing a good job of living up to the legend, although like their visitors from West London they go into Tuesday night's vital Champions League match under the cloud of a couple of worrying results in recent weeks.
A defeat by Internazionale two and a half weeks ago not only ended Juventus's 49-match unbeaten record but inflicted their first reverse on home ground since they moved into the replacement for the unloved Stadio delle Alpi at the start of last season.
And last Saturday they had to be content with a point at home to Lazio in a goalless contest which, in the absence of the suspended Andrea Pirlo, exposed their lack of a cutting edge.
In between those encounters – as Angelo Alessio, their deputy head coach, was quick to point out – they scored four unanswered goals in Turin against Nordsjaelland, the makeweights of Group E, and demolished the Serie A strugglers Pescara 6-1 on the Adriatic coast. But even those sprees were not enough to banish the doubts surrounding their strength up front against top-level opposition.
Pirlo will be back for Tuesday's match in a competition he won twice with Milan. His form has dimmed a little in recent weeks but the 33-year-old playmaker will be hoping to give another masterclass of the sort with which he regaled Stamford Bridge in September, when Juve recovered to secure a draw after falling behind to two goals from Oscar. But they will still be without the presence of Antonio Conte, the head coach who guided them to the title last season and is currently serving a four-month suspension from match-day activity for his part in the Calciopoli scandal. The alleged offences occurred while he was in charge of Siena during the 2010-11 season, before his return to the club for whom he made 419 appearances as a dynamic midfield player between 1991 and 2004.
Conte's suspension ends on 8 December and Alessio will be in the dug-outon Tuesday, as he has been since the start of the season, with little apparent damage to their campaign on two fronts. They top the Serie A table again, four points ahead of Inter, although their propensity for drawing matches has been showing on their return to the Champions League, where one win and three draws have left them a point behind Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea with two matches to play.
"Without beating about the bush, we know that it's all or nothing," Alessio said before the team's final training session. "Chelsea are the European champions and they've been strengthened by the addition of three or four players, so they need to be respected. We don't expect them to come with the intention of concentrating on defence. They're not a side who sit back and wait for the chance to counterattack. At the same time we know how strong we are."
After starting last season's Serie A campaign with a daring 4-2-4 formation, Conte adjusted to 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 before settling on the current 3-5-2. In front of Gigi Buffon are three of the veteran goalkeeper's fellow Azzurri: the defenders Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. The wide men are the Swiss international wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah of Ghana, while Pirlo is protected by Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio. It is up front that the selection problems are concentrated, with Conte and Alessio choosing from Mirko Vucinic, who returned to training on Monday after a bout of flu, Sebastian Giovinco, Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri and Nicklas Bendtner, whose loan from Arsenal has not been a success.
Juventus have been linked with Didier Drogba, although the club have been denying the possibility of a bid for Chelsea's former centre-forward. Gianluca Vialli, interviewed this week about his links with both of Tuesday night's clubs, is urging them to splash out the fortune necessary to lure Edinson Cavani from Napoli but, although the Agnelli family, the founders of Fiat, remain in charge, as they have been since 1923, the financial resources used to recruit the stars of the past are not available in this phase of the club's history.
As the current standard-bearers for a resurgent Serie A, however, they are invariably good to watch and are approaching Tuesday night's challenge with careful optimism.
"It's our biggest match of the year," Marchisio said. "There's not one particular player we're worried about. Oscar was good in the first match and he's a great player but we must focus on the whole team.
"Chelsea definitely have more experience than we do in these games because we've been out of the competition for a few years but that shouldn't frighten us. We have a lot of international players who've been involved in big games, so we're well prepared."