There are games, and there are games. Notice the italics, that's supposed to put emphasis on the second "games" reference, people! When Juventus takes the field at the Vicente Calderón in just a short amount of time, it will be one of those games that might leave you without fingernails when the final whistle blows.
Juventus playing Atlético Madrid is the game in the group. It's the matchup we all pointed to when the ping pong balls bounced around at the Champions League draw a little over two months ago. It's the game that will be the toughest test for Juventus to date. It's the game that will show us just how far Juventus have come thus far under Max Allegri.
Sorry, Roma. But Juventus have more important things to worry about right now. Maybe in 24 hours we can talk, but Juve's second trip to the grand city of Madrid in as many years is rather important.
Atlético enter tonight's matchup in serious need of points after their absolute dud in Greece against Olympiakos. And there's no doubting Atléti were going to be tough no matter what the circumstances were. But now that they've got a little extra incentive to get three points in the first European home game of the season, you know there's going to be some more pep in their step come kickoff.
What Juvrentus do to counteract that notion might as well be the difference between three points, one point, and coming home to Turin without anything to show for it outside of some frequent flyer miles.
Oh, and scoring a goal or two. That's got to help, right? Yeah, thought so.
It's a game, but it's also a game. Italics, folks. They're there for a reason.
Starting lineups for both Juventus and Atlético Madrid will be posted RIGHT HERE when they become available. Feel free to give your reasons as to why Simone Padoin should play from the opening whistle, we'll investigate the matter further at a later date. For right now, though, we have a game to play.
UPDATE: LINEUPS ARE IN!
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Cáceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Marchisio, Pogba, Evra; Llorente, Tevez
Juventus bench: Storari, Ogbonna, Padoin, Asamoah, Pereyra, Morata, Giovinco
Atlético Madrid XI (4-4-1-1/4-4-2): Moya; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Ansaldi; Koke, Tiago, Arda Turan; Saul; Raul Garcia; Mandzukic
Atlético Madrid bench: Oblak, Siqueira, Gimenez, Mario Suarez, Cerci, Griezmann, Raul Jimenez
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