With Juventus locking up their place in the Champions League's Round of 16 just 24 hours prior, Wednesday served as not only a day to relax a bit, but also one to find out who their next opponent may be. We know with Juventus finishing second in their group, the seven group winners not named Atlético Madrid are all up for grabs.
Well, Wednesday's Champions League action is over and done. And so ends another wild group stage that sees Juventus be the lone Italian team to make it through to the knockout stages. So let's examine the seven teams who Juventus could potentially be matched up against at the Champions League draw on Monday, shall we?
Dortmund, Monaco, Porto
Eh, that's a little better than the others.
And now we see the downside of settling for a draw Tuesday night against Atlético Madrid and subsequently finishing second in Group A behind the Spanish champions. Simple science: Group winner plays another group runner-up. Nothing really more to figure out there. There's no other Italian team in the draw to screw with situations, and since Juventus can't play Atlético again this round — which is probably a good thing at this point — there's one less team to think about.
As long as Juventus stay clear of the heavyweights, I'll be okay with it. I'm sure that's a pretty common line of thinking.
But like Gigi Buffon said after Tuesday's scoreless draw to Atléti, "Finishing first or second makes little difference. Even topping the group would see you come up against the strong teams sooner or later. If you're a good side you'll beat them regardless of where you finish, even in the last 16 stage."
Amen to that, man.
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- UEFA Champions League Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Atlético Madrid
- UEFA Champions League: Juventus vs. Atlético Madrid — Full match coverage
- Juventus vs. Atlético Madrid: You choose Max Allegri's starting lineup