Ever since the ping pong balls were opened up and the Champions League groups were revealed, we’ve looked at Juventus’ fifth European game of the season as the most important one of them all. A trip to Spain would likely have major implications on not only Juve’s standing when it comes to making the knockout round but also where the finish in the group.
Fast forward to today, basically three months after that draw, and nothing has really changed. Except now, the day of said fixture, the importance of the game is just that much more magnified.
Juventus’ trip to Spain still has a spot in the Champions League knockout round on the line. It still has the top spot in the group on the line. But Juventus need to win the game to achieve both. A draw, just like what happened when these two teams played to open the group stage back in September, doesn’t help anything. Juventus wants to jump over Sevilla and control their own destiny in terms of topping the group entering the final day of the group stage, they need to win.
That’s all that matters today.
You know, “Vincere non è importante: è la sola cosa che conta.”
Yes, it’s true that Juventus are without some of their most important players like Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain. And it’s true that injuries are stupid and hitting Juve at the worst possible time considering what is on the line as Juventus step onto the Sánchez Pizjuán field this evening. But no matter who is on the field, no matter what formation Max Allegri decides to go with, the main objective against Sevilla remains the same.
That is to win.
That is to get three points.
Simple is as simple does. (At least when it comes to identifying what needs to be done anyway.)
Yes, let’s do that because I feel like I want my Tuesday to be happy and joyful, not sitting here ruining the chances that could have been like the last time there was a Juventus Champions League game. A win and they’re in the knockout round. So go win.
Location: Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, Seville, Spain
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in England; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Dani Alves, Bonucci, Rugani, Evra; Khedira, Marchisio, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Mandzukic, Alex Sandro
Juventus bench: Neto, Chiellini, Asamoah, Sturaro, Lemina, Hernanes, Kean
Sevilla starting XI (3-5-2): Rico; Mercado, Pareja, Rami; N’Zonzi; Mariano Ferreira, Iborra, Vitolo, Escudero; Vazquez, Vietto
Sevilla bench: Sirigu, Kranevitter, Carrico, Ben Yedder, Kiyotake, Sarabia, Ganso
TV: ESPN Deportes USA (United States); TSN1 (Canada); BT Sport Extra (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD, RSI La 2 (Italy)
Online: ESPN3 USA, WatchESPN, Fox Soccer 2GO USA (United States); TSN GO (Canada); BT Sport Live Streaming (United Kingdom)
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