In about 90 minutes, we will officially reach the midway point of the Champions League group stage. Three games down, three games to go. There's still time to make up for a misstep or two along the way, but not so much where you can totally relax and feel good about yourself because you're a point or two ahead of people. (Well, maybe if you're Bayern Munich and demolishing everything in sight...)
The way Group A is set right now, everything is there to be had. You want to be top of the table? Take it. You want to make it to the knockout round? Go right ahead. All four teams are sitting on three points after two matches, the only group in this year's competition that is like this.
Maybe that means every game is just that more important because the other one being played at the same time is completely unpredictable. We'll have to wait and see on that one just in case things are as compact as they are right now entering the final group stage match or two.
But let's concentrate on the immediate future. You know, like traveling to Greece to play Olympiacos. And there's also this little matter to try and end:
Juventus - no away win in CL since Feb 2013 (at Celtic Park). Since then: Bayern (L), Copenhagen (D), Real (L), Gala (L), Atletico (L).— Luca Cetta (@l_cetta) October 22, 2014
That's ... not very good.
We know the Juventus squad has been a virtual cavalcade of frustrating results the last few years in the Champions League. And that's both at home and away from Juventus Stadium. And unless they get points in Greece, they'll just be slightly ahead of last season's sluggish group stage pace.
Or maybe we could just get a repeat of this performance from 2003...
Hey, it's Antonio Chimenti! I wonder what he's up to these days. Also: Seven goals in one game was pretty cool, guys.
I'll take a 7-0 win. I'll also take a win where Juventus plays a solid game of football. Then again, who wouldn't?
Lineups for both squads will be posted RIGHT HERE when they become available. Do we get another Fernando Llorente start? Or do we get the first career Juventus start of countryman Álvaro Morata? So many things to think about, so little time before kickoff.
UPDATE: LINEUPS ARE IN! RELEASE THE MORATA!
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Ogbonna, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tévez, Morata
Juventus bench: Storari, Evra, Pereyra, Marchisio, Llorente, Giovinco, Coman
Olympiacos XI (4-2-3-1): Roberto; Elabdellaoui, Botia, Abidal, Masuaku; Maniatis, Kasami; Milivojevic, Dominguez, N'Dinga; Mitroglou
Olympiacos bench: Megyeri, Giannoulis, Avlonitis, Afellay, Durmaz, David Fuster, Diamantakos
- UEFA Champions League Preview: Juventus vs. Olympiacos — Go Greece lightning
- Sassuolo 1-1 Juventus: Bianconeri held in frustrating trip to Mapei Stadium
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Sassuolo
- Juventus vs. Sassuolo Preview: Round 7 — The Kids in the Hall
- Max Allegri says Arturo Vidal won't play against Sassuolo on Saturday night