Editor’s note: This post has been written and was scheduled to post before any points penalty appeal verdict was announced. So, if some of the verbiage may seem and not totally up to date as they usually are around here, that’s the reason why. Please direct yourself to the front page of BWRAO for any coverage to the points penalty appeal decision.
Today is the day, ladies and gents.
Today is the day to see if Juventus can extend the Europa League adventure — at least for this season — at least a couple of games more. Juve’s made the trip to Portugal where they will take to the field at the Estádio José Alvalade with a slim 1-0 aggregate lead in their back pocket. It is an aggregate scoreline in which Juventus manager Max Allegri doesn’t expect to stay at 1-0, as he said at his pre-match press conference that his team will have to score in the second leg if they want any chance of advancing.
The good thing is that Juve’s got the 1-0 lead in their favor after the first leg.
The bad (or more good!) could be what’s happened off the field
Depending on what has happened when it comes to the points penalty appeal decision, the Europa League could very well be the best way for Juventus to win a trophy this season. And, more importantly, get into the Champions League next season if the decision that has been pushed back and pushed back ends up going against Juve’s favor. Sure, there’s still the Coppa Italia semifinal against Inter to play later this month, but a European trophy is still a European trophy — and doing it this season when so many things have gone against Juventus would sure be nice.
Close things out successfully against Sporting and you’re all of 180 minutes away from potentially getting into the Europa League final. It’s not going to be that simple on the field, but it’s that simple when it comes to explaining things. Just don’t lose on this night, folks.
When: Thursday, April 20, 2023.
Where: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal.
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe, 8 p.m. in Portugal and the United Kingdom, 3 p.m. Eastern time, 12 p.m. Pacific time.
Juventus starting XI (3-5-1-1? 3-4-3?): Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Miretti, Locatelli, Rabiot, Chiesa; Di Maria; Vlahovic.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Sciglio, Gatti, Bonucci, Rugani, Pogba, Kostić, Paredes, Fagioli, Milik, Soulé.
Sporting starting XI (3-4-3): Adan; Coates, Morita, Edwards; Nuno Santos, Ugarte, Francisco Trincao, Gonçalo Inacio; Diomande, Pedro Gonçalves, Ricardo Esgaio.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 4 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 252, Sky Sport 4K (Italy).
Online/Streaming: Paramount+ (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.