In just a couple of hours, Juventus’ schedule officially gets busier. Sure, we’ve known it for weeks, waiting and counting down the days since the Champions League draw took place. But when the Champions League anthem hits the speakers for the first time and the curva tries to drown it out with their own song of choice, we know that the first European game of the season is upon us.
Juventus vs. Sevilla isn’t a matchup we haven’t seen before. It’s technically half of the group that Manchester City somehow won last season. It’s also an opponent that beat Juventus the last time the two teams played one another in Spain last December.
Things are a little compared to nine months ago. On both sides. One team has a new manager, one team has a new No. 9 and star striker. One team is still blessed with the chance to see Paulo Dybala’s lovely smile on a daily basis, one team unable to see Fernando Llorente wear its uniform any longer.
It’s different, surely. But the goal remains the same — start the Champions League group stage on the right foot and (try to) get the early upper hand on the competition.
This is one game. It will always be one game. Ninety minutes of game time spanning over a couple of hours. Some of us will go to sleep after this, others will either go to work or grab a bottle of bourbon and some ice and poor themselves a glass of liquid goodness, some will probably turn the television to another channel and continue on with the day.
But it’s an important game. One that can give Juventus the same kind of positive start that they both experienced in last season’s group stage — just don’t ask how all of that ended in December — as well as the new Serie A campaign. That sure would be nice, IMHO.
That sound you hear right now, on top of the music playing through the above video, is adrenaline coursing through your veins as kickoff gets closer and closer. Or maybe it’s anxiety. It is Juventus in the Champions League after all...
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Dani Alves, Sami Khedira, Mario Lemina, Kwadwo Asamoah, Patrice Evra; Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain
Juventus bench: Neto, Medhi Benatia, Alex Sandro, Miralem Pjanic, Juan Cuadrado, Marko Pjaca, Mario Mandzukic
Sevilla XI (4-2-3-1/4-1-4-1): Sergio Rico; Gabriel Mercado, Adil Rami, Nico Pareja, Sergio Escudero; Steven N'Zonzi, Matias Kranevitter; Luciano Vitolo, Vicente Iborra, Pablo Sarabia; Franco Vazquez
Sevilla bench: TBA
TV: ESPN2 (United States); TSN4 (Canada); PremiumSport HD (Italy)
Online: WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA, Fox Soccer 2GO USA (United States)
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