Today could very well be the day in which Juventus qualifies for the Champions League knockout rounds. That probably sounds a little weird considering Juve has both dropped their last two games to Serie A opponents and subsequently gone into ritiro because of it. That’s far from the same kind of situation you would expect from a team that is close to being one of the final 16 teams remaining in Europe’s top club competition.
But here we are.
And here we’re about to go again.
It is very much the truth that a positive result against Zenit tonight involves advancement into the round of 16. Seriously, it’s true. Juventus is very much on the cusp of something that its form suggests is the complete opposite. But, despite the poor form of late — and for a good chunk of the season outside of our beloved but now long-gone nine-game unbeaten run — Juve’s very much atop Group H and oh-so-close to advancing to the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
It’s true, people. It’s true.
So we get to see what going into ritiro has done for Juventus, if anything. Maybe Max Allegri will have gotten this club’s mental state back into shape. Maybe he will be a little more risky knowing that his team is at home and that those in attendance will be absolutely thirsting for something to cheer about knowing how the last few games have gone.
The problem is, all of this is with the “maybe” caveat. That’s unfortunate, but it’s also pretty necessary right now considering the current state of Juventus.
Maybe they’ll continue on this downward trajectory. Maybe they’ll actually play well. I don’t know, and honestly I’m somewhat nervous to find out what’s next.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
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; 4 p.m. Eastern Time; 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Chiesa, McKennie, Locatelli, Bernardeschi; Dybala, Morata.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Chiellini, Arthur, Cuadrado, Rugani, Rabiot, Bentancur, Kulusevski.
Zenit St. Petersburg starting XI (3-4-3): Kritsyuk; Chistiakov, Lovren, Rakitskyy; Sutormin, Barrios, Wendel, Karavaev; Mostovoy, Claudinho, Azmoun.
Zenit St. Petersburg bench: Kerzhakov, Byazrov, Krugovoi, Malcom, Erokhin, Dzyba, Kravstov, Kuznetsov, Khotulev.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport Extra (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 252, Canale 5 (Italy).
Online/mobile: Paramount+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); BTSport.com, BT Sport App (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia, NOW TV, Mediaset Infinity (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.