There is no doubting that when the opening whistle sounds at the Stadio Olimpico this afternoon, the crowd will be absolutely abuzz. It’s what the Derby della Mole brings out. There is nothing more that Torino supporters want more than to beat Juventus when they make the trip over across town and play at the Stadio Olimpico.
Over the last few years, Torino have come close. Quite close, actually.
But they’ve all had one common denominator at the final whistle: Juventus win.
Ah, I like when Juventus wins. Torino fans don’t, but I do. I’m guessing some of you do enjoy a Juventus win every now and then, too. (Okay, more than that, but stay with me here, people.)
Juventus not only looks to continue the good times going against their city rivals in Torino, but also to continue to build things back up after the 3-1 suckfest against Genoa to begin the month of December. It’s been two games since that shambles of a game at the Marassi, and Juventus have won both of them. The attack has looked dangerous again, the defense isn’t doing stupid things like they’ve done for most of the season.
And now they try to do it all again against a Torino side that is starting to get serious aspirations of being a player for a Europa League spot in the second half of the season.
In short, let me tell you what’s going through my head right about now: Big game. Very big game. Turin derbies usually are, so let’s not kid ourselves on this one.
With the Champions League Round of 16 being Monday afternoon, i’s quite an important 24 hours or so. But I think it’s safe to say that centering our collective concentration about who Juventus will be facing in their first European game of 2017 may have to wait until after the final whistle sounds. There are other important things to focus on right about now.
But what if my plans involve watching Juventus play Torino? Now that’s a question for all of you to try and figure out.
Location: Stadio Olimpico, Turin, Italy
Kick-off time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy; 2 p.m. in England; 9 a.m. on the East Coast; 6 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Marchisio, Sturaro; Cuadrado, Higuain, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Neto, Audero, Benatia, Evra, Lemina, Hernanes, Pjanic, Asamoah, Dybala
Torino starting XI (4-3-3): Hart; Zappacosta, Rossettini, Castan, Barreca; Benassi, Valdifiori, Baselli; Falque, Belotti, Ljajic
Torino bench: Padelli, Cucchietti, Bovo, Acquah, Lopez, Gustafson, Martinez, Vives, Moretti, De Silvestri, Boyè, Ajeti
TV: beIN SPORTS USA (United States); beIN Sports Canada (Canada); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online: beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., fuboTV (United States); fuboTV Canada, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live Streaming (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia (Italy)
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