In a few minutes, three new opponents will be added to Juventus’ schedule. We knew that was coming, so it’s not like this is a sudden change that means we should panic.
Or maybe you should panic based on what Juve’s done in Europe lately.
All of this means the Champions League group stage is almost upon us. Or, at least the group stage draw is upon. Yes, that same Champions League where we watched Juventus get dumped out a round or two earlier than they should have a little less than two months ago. But we won’t talk about that now. The manager who saw Juve fall to Lyon is no longer around, probably sitting at home or on a beach somewhere enjoying a couple of packs of cigarettes a day because what else is he going to do during his unemployment period during a pandemic.
Juventus has a new manager. Juventus has a much, much, much better dressed manager than the one who last coached the club in a Champions League game. But who Andrea Pirlo is about to face in his first handful of Champions League matches as Juventus’ manager is something we still don’t know. Until today.
Today is Champions League draw day. And with it comes the drawn-out process of creating the eight groups that comprise of the start of the 2020-21 season’s competition.
Just in case you need a refresher
Pot 1: Bayern Munich (Germany), Sevilla (Spain), Real Madrid (Spain), Liverpool (England), Juventus (Italy), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Porto (Portugal).
Pot 2: Barcelona (Spain), Atlético Madrid (Spain), Manchester City (England), Manchester United (England), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Chelsea (England), Ajax (Netherlands).
Pot 3: Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine), Salzburg (Austria), Leipzig (Germany), Inter Milan (Italy), Olympiakos (Greece), Lazio (Italy), Krasnodar (Russia), Atalanta (Italy).
Pot 4: Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Marseille (France), Club Brugge (Belgium), Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany), Istanbul Başakşehir (Turkey), Midtjylland (Denmark), Rennes (France), Ferencváros (Hungary).
The good thing in all of this is that arguably two of the best teams in Pot 3 are Italian teams, which means they can’t be drawn against Juventus in the group stage. So if you’re worried about how Juventus’ still-developing defense and midfield might do against a high-flying attack like Atalanta that just dropped a 4-1 beatdown on Lazio, you don’t have to worry about all of that until the middle of December rolls around.
The catch in all of this, as has been the case ever since the entire sport shut down back in March, is the fact that the usual group stage schedule will be much more compact than it usually is thanks to the 2020-21 season starting in the middle of September for most of the major leagues in Europe.
The schedule is going to be a little busier after the first international break. But you knew that — and hopefully you’re ready for all of the unexpected happenings that usually comes with Juventus playing in the Champions League. (Like, seriously, you should be used to it by now no matter the end result.)
When: Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020
Where: RTS Studios, Geneva, Switzerland
Official kickoff time: 5 p.m. local time in Switzerland and across Europe; 4 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 11 a.m. Eastern Time; 8 a.m. Pacific Time
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TUDN USA (United States)
Online/mobile: UEFA.com (Worldwide); TUDN.com (United States)
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.