It’s been a decade since the Europa League anthem has been blasted over the speaker system at the Allianz Stadium.
Much to the joy of my BWRAO cohort Sergio Romero, that all changes tonight.
Juventus faces Ligue 1 side Nantes in the first leg of the Europa League playoff round in Turin tonight, as Max Allegri’s squad sets out to make something of their European campaign following their crashing out of the Champions League. Allegri has spoken to just how much that UCL elimination in the group stage has gotten under the skin of his players, with an extended period of time to stew on not making the knockout rounds due to the World Cup break coming in mid-November.
So now the attention is turned over to the Europa League for Allegri’s men.
And with the 15-point penalty imposed on Juve a couple of weeks ago, winning the Europa League is the only route into next season’s Champions League that they have.
This is just what is suddenly the situation for Juventus. While the Coppa Italia is potentially a ticket into more Europa League, having a deep run in the Europa League is the potential ticket into the Champions League. (Barring any more off-field nonsense, of course.)
So if Juventus wants to make the road to Budapest something memorable come the springtime, then it starts tonight on a February chilly night in Turin. Sounds about right.
When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe, 6 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 3 p.m. Eastern time, 12 p.m. Pacific time.
Juventus starting XI (3-4-2-1? 4-3-3?): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Fagioli, Paredes, Rabiot; Chiesa, Vlahovic, Di Maria.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Crespi, Gatti, Bonucci, Rugani, Locatelli, Cuadrado, Kostić, Kean, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
Nantes starting XI (4-2-3-1): Lafont; Pallois, Girotto, Castelletto, Chirivella; Sissoko, Moutoussamy; Blas, Coco, Centonze; Mohamed.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: UniMás, TUDN USA (United States); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 252, Sky Sport 4K (Italy).
Online/Streaming: Paramount+, Univision NOW, TUDN.com, TUDN App (United States); DAZN (Canada); BTSport.com, BT Sport App (United Kingdom); DAZN, SKY Go Italia, NOW TV (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.