With Lokomotiv Moscow being the only team in Group D to pick up all three points on the first day of the Champions League group stage, I think it’s safe to say that things in Juventus’ group are a little more interesting entering Matchday 2 than we might have thought.
That’s especially true knowing just how it all went down on Matchday 1.
So, now as Juventus sits on one point alongside Atlético Madrid thanks to a second-half meltdown due on large part because of set pieces, the need to get three points and prevent falling further behind the first-game leaders is imperative. The same can be said about the team that is rolling into Allianz Stadium tonight, with Bayer Leverkusen being on the losing end of Lokomotiv’s opening day upset win, making everything in Group D just that the more interesting.
It’s not desperation mode just yet knowing that there’s still four group stage games after this one, but there’s also a need to pick up some points, too.
We’ll see if Juventus are able to do that and build on what was certainly one of its most complete and consistent performances over the course of 90 minutes over the weekend against SPAL.
And we’ll see what this squad can do as it gets another game in Maurizio Sarri’s 4-3-1-2 formation under its belt. The results have been rather good so far, I’d say.
Oh, and we’ll also see what having an actual fullback back in the starting lineup will mean to the squad as well with Alex Sandro back from his bereavement leave. (No offense to Blaise Matuidi, he was good at left back over the weekend, but he’s much more suited to be the player he has been this season while playing in the midfield. I’m not the only one who thinks that.)
So, go out and do the damn thing, Juve.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 8 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 3 p.m. Eastern Time; High Noon Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, Rugani, Demiral, Ramsey, Rabiot, Bentancur, Dybala
Bayer Leverkusen starting XI (4-4-2): Hradecky; L. Bender, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell; Havertz, Aranguiz, Baumgartlinger, Demirbay; Volland, Alario
Bayer Leverkusen bench: Ozcan, Dragovic, Paulinho, Amiri, Diaby, Sinkgraven, Weiser
HOW TO WATCH
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