“We are coming from a good period, Saturday’s match doesn’t hurt us.”
Those are the words of Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini, somebody who knows a few things about a few things (and that’s even before he flexes his economics degree on you and then probably breaks things down for you without asking for it). This ain’t his first rodeo in Europe, but is probably one of his last seeing as he’s 36 years old and has an injury history the last few years that is longer than the last receipt I got after a payday visit to the grocery store last week.
What Chiellini is getting at is that Juventus’ 1-0 loss to Napoli, a game where they didn’t necessarily play poorly yet still managed to lose, is officially a thing of the past. It’s not going to be the thing that causes a big match hangover heading into tonight’s big match against Porto in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16. With no hangover from one big match a few days earlier heading into this next big match, no reason worry ... right?
Well, that’s what we’re here to find out about.
No matter what Chiellini’s words may say, just how Juventus respond to Saturday’s loss will tell us a lot about how this game against Porto will go. Will they continue to misfire in front of goal? Will they prevent any kind of game-changing defensive errors from happening? Will Juve’s always-under-fire midfield actually play well again even though Arthur is hanging back in Turin?
There are a lot of things to come out of Saturday’s loss, and it’s the kind of time on the schedule when any kind of slip-ups could bleed into the next fixture. That, in this case, could mean that Juventus sweat out their trip to Portugal. Or they could surprise us and take a few away goals back with them to Turin for the second leg in a couple of weeks.
Either way, we’re about to find out.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021
Where: Estádio do Dragão, Porto, Portugal
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 p.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2/3-5-2): Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, McKennie, Kulusevski, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Ramsey, Morata, Dybala, Bonucci, Demiral, Bernardeschi, Di Pardo, Frabotta, Fagioli
Porto starting XI (4-4-2): Marchesin; Manafá, Pepe, Mbemba, Zaidu; Corona, Otavio, Sergio Oliveira, Uribe; Marega, Taremi
Porto bench: Diogo Costa, Loum, Luis Diaz, Grujic, Romario Baro, Joao Mario, Felipe Anderson, Toni Martinez, Evanilson, Nanu, Sarr, Francisco Conceicao
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TUDN USA (United States); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 252 (Italy)
Online/mobile: CBS All Access, Univision NOW, TUDNApp, UniMás, TUDN.com, TUDNxtra (United States); DAZN (Canada); BTSport.com, BT Sport App (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.