So, here we are.
Here we go with Juventus in another Champions League knockout round matchup against a team that, at least on paper, has been looked at as the lesser side. We’ve been here before. We’ve been disappointed in this stage of the game before, too.
But even with the previous disappointment, here we go again.
Here goes Juventus against Villarreal, a team that is on improved form but still very much a team that, if it was any other big side would be very confident in advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals. Instead of that, though, we have the last few years popping into our heads as Juve get ready to play the first leg against a side currently sitting in sixth place in La Liga. Juventus is far from full strength, far from a team firing on all cylinders and far from the overwhelming favorite against said sixth-place side.
Instead, this is the prediction I saw when I logged onto WhoScored’s preview this morning:
Villarreal 2, Juventus 1.
OK, so that’s one spot on the internet, but it’s also a reflection that there’s not exactly a growing amount of faith that Juventus can get the job done in Spain in the first leg of this round of 16 tie.
Maybe Juventus and Max Allegri go out there and prove us wrong. Maybe with all of the injuries, the players playing out of position and the patchwork defense Juventus can get the job done against Villarreal and prove us wrong. It’s not looking great coming into the night, but it could be a good thing at the end of the night.
At least I hope so.
Prove us wrong, Juventus. It would be nice for once.
When: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.
Where: Estadio de la Ceramica (formerly El Madrigal), Villarreal, Spain.
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Spain, Italy and around Europe, 8 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 3 p.m. Eastern time, 12 p.m. Pacific time.
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; De Sciglio, de Ligt, Danilo, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Vlahovic, Morata.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Arthur, Pellegrini, Kean, Bonucci, Zakaria, Soule.
Villarreal starting XI (4-3-3): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza; Capoue, Lo Celso, Parejo; Alberto Moreno, Chukwueze, Danjuma.
Villarreal bench: Asenjo, Jorgensen, Mario Gaspar, Iborra, Estupinan, M Trigueros, Dia, Yeremy, Mandi, Moi Gomez, Serge Aurier.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TUDN USA (United States, Spanish language); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 252, Sky Sport 4K, Canale 5 (Italy).
Streaming: 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.