Over the next couple of hours, we will find out if Juventus’ current European adventure will be coming to an end or if there’s at least one more chapter to write this season. With a 1-1 aggregate scoreline entering the second leg, Juventus — along with its away goal that came home with them from Amsterdam — the optimism surrounding the Champions League semifinals isn’t as doom-and-gloom as it was a few weeks back.
Juve aren’s staring a 2-0 deficit in the face entering the second leg.
It’s not really anything close to that, really — and that’s even with Juve not playing all that great in the first leg in Amsterdam last week.
But, the thing is, this is the latest Biggest Game of the Season, with Juventus looking to make the Champions League semifinals in front of their hometown crowd with another win at Allianz Stadium. Ajax, who eliminated the three-time defending Champions League title holders in the round of 16, will be looking to slay another European heavyweight for the second consecutive round.
As they showed in the first leg, Ajax has the potential to put Juventus under a whole lot of pressure. They also have the capability of putting under plenty of duress, which is not necessarily something that has yours truly feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
But, as we saw in the second leg against Atlético Madrid, when Juventus come out with the kind of force and attitude that they did the last time there was a European tie at Allianz Stadium, then only the sky seems to be the limit for this team. That’s probably why Max Allegri didn’t make it a secret during his pre-match press conference Monday evening that he wants Juventus to play with the same kind of mindset and intensity that they had when they took the field for the second leg against Atlético Madrid.
Hell, the way Juventus played that night, I’d want the same thing, too.
I get that Juventus can advance without a win if things remain scoreless over the course of the second leg, but ...
This game has only one mission tonight, to win #GETREADY— Claudio Zuliani (@ClaudioZuliani) April 16, 2019
The man has a point. And Juventus winning sure seems like a good idea to me. I’m going to think that I’m not the only one who is thinking along those lines, either.
When: Tuesday, April 16, 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; 12 Noon Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Barzagli, Cancelo, Khedira, Bentancur, Spinazzola, Kean
Ajax starting XI (4-2-3-1): Onana; Veltman, de Ligt, Blind, Mazraoui; Schöne, Van de Beek, de Jong; Ziyech, Tadic, Neres
Ajax bench: Varela, Sinkgraven, Huntelaar, Mahallan, Dolberg, De Wit, Ekkelenkamp
HOW TO WATCH
Television: Galavision (United States); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); Sky Calcio 2, Sky Sport Uno (Italy)
Online/mobile: B/R Live, Univision Deportes En Vivo (United States); DAZN (Canada); BT Sport Live (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.