It was all of two weeks ago that Juventus faithful at Allianz Stadium had to wait nearly an hour-and-a-half worth of game time to celebrate something pretty darn good. There was more anxiety than joy for over 70 minutes, as Juventus looked the possibility of dropping points for the second time in just three Champions League group stage games this season.
Luckily, the magic that is Paulo Dybala’s left foot prevented that from happening.
Now, two weeks later and after a long trip to Russia, Juventus will again play that Lokomotiv Moscow team that defended so well together as a team as the Italian champions continued to come toward its goal in waves as they racked up nearly 80 ercent of the possession.
There is a spot in the Champions League knockout round at stake tonight. (And, remember, it’s an early kickoff as compared to Juventus’ first to UCL games this season, so please check the time guide below.) That’s something we are rather used to seeing happen to this club, but not always when there’s still two more group stage games following the upcoming fixture.
To get a spot in the knockout rounds with two games to go would be nice, especially knowing that there’s another matchup against Atlético Madrid out there after the November international break in three weeks.
For now, though, the thing is to not allow the same kind of thing to happen like was the case the last time Juventus and Lokomotiv Moscow were on the same field together. The words of manager Maurizio Sarri makes you believe that it will be a very different kind of game simply because of where the game is being played.
“It will be a difficult match because it’s the Champions League and because we already saw in the first game that they made it difficult for us, but the goal is to qualify. Let’s focus on our performance. From a results perspective, the season is going really well, both in Serie A and in the Champions League.
“I have the feeling that we still have room to improve, but the stats are different compared to the previous year, for example: possession. When our opponents defend in a way that is tight and compact, the game is often resolved by great play from an individual. However, at home Lokomotiv Moscow don’t play defensive, but are proactive and use their quality.”
Sarri may be right. Or it may be a case of Juventus needing more individual brilliance to make sure they capture another three points against European opposition.
Either way, Juventus can in fact make the knockout rounds with a win — and that’s pretty much the only thing that should matter tonight.
When: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
Where: Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow, Russia
Official kickoff time: 8:55 p.m. local time in Russia; 6:55 p.m. in Italy and across Europe; 5:55 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12:55 p.m. Eastern Time; 9:55 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Rabiot; Ramsey; Higuain, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, De Sciglio, Dybala, Douglas Costa, Matuidi, Demiral, Bentancur
Lokomotiv Moscow starting XI (4-4-2): Guilherme; Ignatyev, Höwedes, Corluka, Rybus; Zhemaletdinov, Krychowiak, Barinov, Joao Mario; Al Miranchuk, Eder
Lokomotiv Moscow bench: Kochenkov, Zhivoglyadov, Idowu, Kolomeytsev, Murilo, Magkeev, Tugarev
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TNT, Univision (United States); BT Sport ESPN (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, NOW TV, Sky Calcio 2 (Italy)
Online/mobile: TUDN en Vivo, B/R Live, Watch TNT (United States); DAZN (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); Sky Go Italia (Italy)
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