Juventus need a goal. Or two. Or three.
Okay, simply put, they need goals to turn the 2-1 deficit on aggregate into their favor. That's as easy as we can make it. No more simpler terms than that. There's only a certain number of ways to flip the aggregate scoreline from Benfica's favor to Juve's. Doesn't take rocket science, even if the away goal rule still confuses some people.
So, that brings us to tonight's game, which is just a couple of hours away by the time most of us here in the States rise and shine and begin to get our days underway.
Everybody is healthy. Or, at least we think they're healthy because Antonio Conte has basically told us so. Everybody who is eligible to be called up for tonight's second leg against Benfica has been called up. See, take a look for yourself.
Of course, the one person who may not be completely healthy is a certain midfielder by the name of Arturo Vidal, who missed the first leg in Lisbon because of his lingering knee injury. All that we've seen of Vidal in the games following Juve's win over Lyon in the quarterfinals is a pair of short substitute appearances against Bologna and Sassuolo.
Fifteen minutes or so in almost a month. That's about it when it comes to game time for King Arturo.
Let's see what Conte had to say about Vidal's status during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday...
#Conte: "@kingarturo23 has trained today, you'll find out whether he'll be in the starting line-up or on the bench tomorrow." #JuveBenfica— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 30, 2014
Well that didn't help.
If that's an attempt to keep his cards as close to his vest as possible, it's working. Like Conte said, we won't about Vidal being in the starting lineup or not until the dang things are actually announced publicly. Start your wondering now, folks. We've got a couple of hours before kickoff arrives.
You know the game. Put on your favorite Antonio Conte baseball cap and get thinking. And if you think Simone Padoin is the answer when Juventus need a goal or two to advance to the Europa League final, well, I don't know what to tell you about that.
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