Let's put ourselves in the shoes of a Juventus player for a second.
The setting: The Juventus dressing room at Juventus Stadium minutes before the opening kickoff vs. Sevilla. The team around you is struggling for form, you're struggling for form. It's quiet; the weight of 118 years of excellence stitched into the jersey is weighing down on the room. You and the team, after stumbling to five disappointing results in the first six league matches feel as though the season may already be slipping away.
The one lifeline you and your teammates have is that superb victory in the Champions League on Match Day 1 against Manchester City. That match is a reminder of what this team is still very much capable of. You know it, your teammates around you know it.
You also know there is blood in the water Wednesday night.
A comparatively weak Sevilla team has limped into your stadium in abysmal domestic form. You know that a result is all that matters, but in the back of your head you know that a 1-0 win will do nothing for this team. No, tonight you and your teammates must make a statement. You must make a statement to the rest of Europe, you must make a statement to your fans, but most importantly a statement needs to be made for the psyche of the team.
If the ship is ever to right itself, tonight must be a massacre. In the immortal words of Antonio Conte, you and your teammates need to do whatever it takes to pull yourselves up and start being Juventus again.
There are no more excuses. Tactics, squad selection, injuries, youth, inexperience, it's all out the window. This match could very well determine the rest of the season. It will not be easy, but Sevilla can be had. Juve need to come to play and they need to blow Sevilla off the pitch. Just by looking up and down these two rosters, Sevilla doesn't even belong on the same pitch as Juventus. That fact needs to be asserted. A 1-0 win does nothing. A 1-0 win tells people, tells me, that Juve truly are weaker this year. For this team to get going, they need to ice this match inside 50 minutes.
What could be better for the team's confidence than an explosive victory in Europe on home soil in front of a starving fan base?
After seeing what Fiorentina did to Inter over the weekend, Juve have to believe they can get back into the race. But that starts with playing like they want to get back into the race. Juve can no longer sit back and just expect results; they must go and take them. If they can dismantle Sevilla that may just be the shot in the arm this side needs to spring back into contention in Serie A.
We say it all the time, "Fino alla fine," but we often forget to take in the meaning of the phrase, probably because it hasn't really been relevant in a while. Now though, "Fino alla fine" means something. It is what this season is going to come down to, a bitter fight.....until the end.