Dec. 7, 2016. That’s the last time the Champions League anthem has been heard over the loudspeakers at Juventus Stadium. It’s been three months. More than that if you want to be difficult and get all technical. But even back in December we knew that the chorus and the voices in unison singing “THE CHAMPIOOOOONS!!!” was going to happen at some point in February or March of 2017.
Tonight, we hear the Champions League anthem at Juventus Stadium again.
Oh, and play a little game of calcio, too.
it’s Juventus and Porto together again just like a couple of weeks ago. We know three things heading into this second leg of the Champions League Round of 16. For one, Juventus has a 2-0 aggregate lead. That’s a lot better than what it was looking like would happen for a good portion of last month’s first leg. Secondly, Juventus has the second leg at home. You know, the same Juventus Stadium in which Juve has been absolutely dominant at over the past two seasons.
And most important of all, Juventus keeps the aggregate lead and they’re off to the Champions League quarterfinals — something that eluded them last season.
It sounds simple enough, right? Juventus don’t absolutely embarrass themselves and it’s into the quarterfinals. Simple. very simple. Simple when brought up by one of us as we sit together over beers and discuss the next fixture before closing time. But simple when it comes to stepping onto the field and trying to keep an in-form Porto side off the scoreboard? Maybe, but you never know.
Juventus doesn’t have it easy tonight. They have a somewhat comfortable situation entering the game. But the game itself is going to be anything but that. At least that’s what this guy who’s currently typing these words thinks. Still, a win would get Juventus one step closer to what we all want to see happen and what the club established as a massive goal entering the 2016-17 campaign.
"Winning the Champions League at my age in just my second year at the club would be incredible. It’s a dream we all share; there are guys here that want to win it and some that have already. Either way, the desire to go as far as we can is so strong.”
— Paulo Dybala
I don’t know if you guys know this, but Paulo Dybala is a smart young man. He’s talking a lot of sense. That’s good to see. And on a night La Stampa has deemed ‘Notte da grande’ it sure would be nice to see Juventus live up to Dybala’s words and continue to chase the dream that has been eluding this club for so long.
Location: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 3:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 12:45 p.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Buffon; Dani Alves, Leonardo Bonucci, Medhi Benatia, Alex Sandro; Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio; Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic; Gonzalo Higuain
Juventus bench: Neto, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Tomas Rincon, Miralem Pjanic, Marko Pjaca
FC Porto starting XI (4-3-3): Iker Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Ivan Marcano, Felipe, Miguel Layun; Danilo Pereira, Andre Andre, Oliver Torres; Yacine Brahimi, Andre Silva, Tiquinho Soares
FC Porto bench: Jose Sa, Willy Boly, Ruben Neves, Hector Herrera, Otavio, Diogo Jota, Laurent Depoitre
TV: Fox Sports 2 (United States); TSN3, TSN4 (Canada); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD (Italy)
Online: WatchESPN, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO (United States); TSN GO (Canada); BT Sport Live Streaming (United Kingdom); Sky Go Italia (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven't already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.
And don't forget to like our new page on Facebook, either!