Of course, we are talking about the unwritten rule of Juventus getting drawn against a team that now employs one of its exes. And, in this case, a player who contributed quite a lot to Juve’s success over the last half-decade or so.
It’s the Miralem Pjanic vs. Arthur plusvalenza battle that everybody was waiting for, as the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday gave us the midfield battle we were all waiting to see. (What, you were expecting something about Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi meeting in the Champions League?) Juventus facing Barcelona twice over the course of the next 2 1⁄2 months is the highlight of Group G, with the Italian champions also set to face Dynamo Kyev and Ferencvaros, the latter of which just ended a 25-year wait to get back into the Champions League.
Looks pretty good to me.
Obviously the two games against Barcelona will be incredibly important for a whole lot of reasons. As much as there’s a bit of sarcasm in regard to the Pjanic-Arthur matchup in the midfield, seeing an old buddy like Miralem is just the latest in a long line of former Juve players that we’ve seen as opposition a year or two after they no longer call Turin home.
And, yes, the Ronaldo-Messi matchup is going to DOMINATE the media coverage before both fixtures in Italy and Spain. How could it not? It’s the easiest of storylines heading into the two Juventus-Barcelona games. It’s that simple.
Juventus and Barcelona are the two clear favorites to win the group. And if there isn’t some sort of combination of those two teams finishing in first and second place in Group G, then something has gone seriously wrong and it’s likely that our comment section has been set on fire with lots of criticism.
We’ll have more on this later, but Juve’s group is pretty favorable. The Barcelona games will be tough — especially if they’re early on in the proceedings while Andrea Pirlo is still trying to figure out what his best starting XI might be — but the other four games are ones where Juve’s gonna have to get all 12 points available. Trips to Ukraine and Hungary will be fun, too ... hopefully.