Juventus is going back to Turin with an advantage against Villarreal
Yet to be truthful, it could and likely should be a bigger one than Juventus currently has. The team can be satisfied with their 1-1 draw against the Yellow Submarine on Tuesday, but it probably isn’t entirely too pleased either.
This is because, after the near-instant Dusan Vlahovic goal to open the match, an opportunity was missed to boast a larger, more impervious and imposing lead going into the second leg of this UCL round of 16 tie. Massimiliano Allegri would’ve been frustrated with how Villarreal drew level in the 66th minute. He will, however, fancy his team’s chances back in Italy.
While the boss and his side will now be without Weston McKennie – recently added to the injured names of this side – Max and the Old Lady have the players and the capacity to beat Villarreal in March on the way to the round of eight.
For Juventus, Names Like Dybala, Locatelli, Bernardeschi And Arthur Must Step Up And In
With names out like Chiellini, McKennie, Kaio Jorge and so on, people are stepping up at each level of this team. Max will be proud, but also full of anticipation no doubt. Yet he has talented and able names and bodies for this purpose; Paulo Dybala can play in the middle of the pitch or as a more forward player, as can Federico Bernardeschi, while the likes of Adrien Rabiot, Manuel Locatelli and Arthur must give more to this team than was seen in the first leg of the UCL Villarreal tie in Spain.
Therefore, it can be said with a smile that Max is in a better position than other sides thanks to the quality on the pitch and off the bench for Juventus. He and his team will have a real chance to warm themselves up by the time they hose the Yellow Submarine in Turin, however, with easier matches lining the road to that game.
Empoli will host Juventus in just days; Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg at the start of March follows, followed by matches against Spezia and Sampdoria. Those should be four comfortable enough wins – nine easy points in Serie A for this club – which should position them positively in the lead up to the second leg against Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine. However, as we’ve seen this season, nothing comes easy for this Juventus side.
While the Old Lady hangs on the border of European play next season, there is no reason why, after these three league matches, Juventus cannot be in a better position than they are today. How that will make a side feel as they look poised to move in Europe against a very tough, UEL winning side, remains to be seen.
But more could have been had, had names like Morata scored when their half-chances arose. Dusan Vlahovic is a great young player, yet he cannot carry any side by himself – no matter his insane goal-scoring feats.
That is, of course, neither here nor there. Juventus has some work to do before they get another crack at Villarreal, and they will have to play at a higher level than they’ve been at in recent matches too. Even with the rash of injuries plaguing this outfit right now, some names and faces can step up and fill the voids left by larger names better than some might expect.
We will see how it plays out first on Saturday.