We have seen Juventus have some pretty wonderful performances in the Champions League on their home turf at Juventus Stadium over he years since its doors opened. We have seen Juventus win games they were supposed to win. We have seen Juventus win games in which their opponents on the night were perceived to be the better side.
On paper, Juventus are the better side compared to Olympiacos tonight.
But here’s the catch: Juventus aren’t guaranteed three points when they step onto the field for the first Champions League game under the Allianz Stadium name. That’s not any kind of a surprise to anybody here. We’re smart people here.
Isn’t everything just so much easier on paper?
The task is simple for Juventus, though: You win, you at least keep pace with Barcelona and/or Sporting for the top spot in the group. You draw and see one of Sporting or Barcelona win in Group D’s other game tonight, and then the three-point difference at the top of the table becomes five. And a loss? Well, I just don’t want to think about that right now.
Juve needs points. They can’t suddenly jump to the top of the group tonight, but they can take a step toward getting out of the cellar. No matter who else is in your group, when you lose 3-0 in the group stage opener, it’s never a good way to begin a European campaign.
And as we know, Juventus have certainly had some interesting beginnings to the group stage. I’m pretty sure we don’t want to go down that frequently-visited road again.
So, Juventus, please win tonight and get some damn points by your name. Let me remind you, it’s “points,” not “point.” Three points will help. One point? Yeah, I dunno about that one.
Location: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Spain; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-2-3-1): Buffon; Sturaro, Barzagli, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Pjanic, Matuidi; Cuadrado, Dybala, Douglas Costa; Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Benatia, Rugani, Asamoah, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Higuain
Olympiacos starting XI: Proto; Figueiras, Engels, Nikolaou; Koutris, Zdjelar, Romao; Pardo, Odjidja, Sebá; Emenike
Olympiacos bench: Choutesiotis, Botia, Tachtsidis, Fortounis, Marin, Elabdellaoui, Ben Nabouhane
TV: BT Sport Extra (United Kingdom); PremiumSport (Italy)
Online/Mobile: ESPN3 USA, Fox Soccer Plus, WatchESPN, FOX Soccer Match Pass (United States); Premium Play (Italy)
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