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The Old Lady Speaks Podcast, Episode 137: Juve’s Europa League spot is on the ropes

It was a week in which Juventus didn’t lose either of its two games, but it’s not like Max Allegri’s squad was all that great, either, with European hopes again down to one singular 90-minute stretch.

Juventus v FC Nantes: Knockout Round Play-Off Leg One - UEFA Europa League Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

As we wait to hear about the appeal of Juventus’ 15-point penalty that has seen the club drop down into the mid-table zone in Serie A, the most direct way into next season’s Champions League is still very much uncertain.

That’s because after last Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Nantes in Turin, Juve head to France this week needing to win during a time in which their play is not inspiring a whole lot of confidence.

On the whole, Juve aren’t playing all that well right now. This is something we’ve been saying for a large part of the season. But, a lot in the same fashion of like last week, Juve won again in Serie A to move further up the table despite the 15-point penalty hanging over them still. It’s in Europe where things are different ... or maybe similar considering where Juve has found themselves the last few years in the knockout rounds.

So how are we feeling entering another do-or-die European matchup?

There’s probably a good idea considering Juve’s found themselves in this kind of situation before. But a Europa League playoff round tie with so much attached to it (and even with a way to go in the competition) is something that is just added onto the usual list of variables.

On this week’s episode of The Old Lady Speaks Podcast, we discuss:

  • Takeaways from the week that was — including how Juventus should offer Angel Di Maria a big bag of money for a contract in the 2023-24 season and force him to say no, how Max Allegri is coaching more and more defensive (and we didn’t think that was possible), and how Juve continues to drop to the level of their competition a lot of the time.
  • Just what went wrong for Juventus against Nantes in the first leg of the Europa League playoff round.
  • Just what went wrong for Juventus — despite winning! — against Spezia over the weekend as the Bianconeri moved up a few more spots in the Serie A table.
  • Just how much was Juve’s play against Nantes and then Spezia on Max Allegri and how much was it on the players?
  • How optimistic are we about Juve getting past Nantes and advancing to the Europa League Round of 16? (Warning: previous Juventus struggles in European competition is discussed.)
  • Twitter questions — including the noticing of the latest blunder from Leandro Paredes, should Federico Gatti be starting more in games where Juve faces opponents like Spezia, what’s the realistic expectation for some of the youngsters in this season’s squad to stick long term, and what should the formation be going forward knowing that Allegri has worked in a 3-4-2-1 recently.

You can listen to Episode 137 of The Old Lady Speaks Podcast here:

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