Juventus is 90 minutes away from having another chance to play for a trophy. That is the simplest form of what the situation is entering tonight’s Coppa Italia semifinal second leg against Fiorentina at Allianz Stadium in Turin.
Of course, there’s much more to it than that.
Juventus’ aggregate lead over Fiorentina is all of 1-0 after the first leg. And, as we remember, that 1-0 aggregate lead is thanks to an own goal that Fiorentina saw bank in off Lorenzo Venuti six weeks ago to give Juve this slim advantage. It’s not like Juve wholeheartedly deserved it with how they played, but the style points aren’t exactly flowing like a couple of bottles of expensive Dom in the VIP section these days, so we’ll take whatever we can get.
So much of that first leg of this Coppa Italia semifinal was about Dusan Vlahovic going back to Florence for the first time since signing with Juventus that sometimes you forget that Juve’s up in the tie or just how it all played out. (Although, knowing how Juve played, maybe you don’t want to remember much of it.) That might also have something to do with the fact that it’s been nearly two months since said first leg at the Franchi, with quite a bit happening between then and now.
For Max Allegri and Juventus, it’s not like it’s been all that good, either.
Juve’s coming off a slog of a weekend performance against Bologna, with Vlahovic bailing that dreck of a performance out with a stoppage-time goal. And if Juventus play anything like they did over the weekend when Fiorentina comes to town tonight, then we’re likely looking at a 2021-22 season that is trophy-less and an offseason that will have plenty more questions than answers.
Heck, if Juve play anywhere close to the way they did in the first leg then this second leg id likely going to extra time at the bare minimum. And for a season in which the Allianz Stadium homefield advantage is very much a thing of the past, that would be the latest step in what has been Juve’s piss-poor home record.
That might just be me preparing for the worst. But, as of right now, it’s not like Juventus is even sniffing the best it has to offer, so it’s not like optimism is flowing these days.
Maybe they prove me wrong and play well and win. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
When: Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and Europe, 8 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 3 p.m. Eastern time, 12 p.m. Pacific time.
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2/4-3-3): Perin; De Sciglio, Bonucci, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi, Zakaria, Danilo, Rabiot; Vlahovic, Morata.
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Dybala, Cuadrado, Pellegrini, Kean, Rugani, Soule, Miretti.
Fiorentina starting XI (4-3-3): Dragowski; Venuti, Martinez-Quarta, Igor, Biraghi; Duncan, Torreira, Saponara; Nico Gonzalez, Cabral, Ikone.
Fiorentina bench: Terracciano, Rosati, Bonaventura, Callejon, Maleh, Terzic, Piatek, Odriozola, Sottil, Amrabat, Nastasic, Kokorin.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: CBS Sports Network (United States); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Canale 5 (Italy).
Online/mobile: Paramount+ (United States); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); 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.