Juventus vs Maccabi Haifa match preview: Time, TV schedule and how to watch the Champions League
In the horror of the start of this season, Juventus’ form in the Champions League has been at rock bottom. Until last month, Juve had never lost their first two Champions League group matches. After dropping their opener at PSG only to be humiliated by Benfica at home, Juve have made the kind of history they really don’t want and are now with their backs to the wall.
At this point, entering the knockout stage of the Champions League is a fairly straightforward proposition for Juventus. They can’t lose any of their next three games, and the last of the three must be won BIG – away from home.
It is certainly a daunting task, but as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And in Juve’s case, that leg is a home game against Maccabi Haifa.
Maccabi are the only team in this group against which Juventus have absolutely nothing to lose. Of course, Juventus have seen a few teams so far that they haven’t had to lose this year and have managed to do so. But we’re now at the point in the group stage where anything other than a win leaves them utterly, utterly and utterly screwed, so there has to be some sort of reaction.
Luckily, the team come into this game fresh from Sunday’s 3-0 win over Bologna. Although not a dominating game by any stretch of the imagination, Juve ultimately won by limiting Bologna’s chances and being clinical enough with their own. It’s not exactly what we were hoping to see after the team’s moves this year, but it’s what this team currently has to rely on given the issues it’s had over the year so far. now. Still, a win is a win, and after a month in which they didn’t experience such a sensation, the morale boost ahead of this game is much needed.
Maccabi will be far from easy. They have shown so far that they have no intention of just being whipped boys in this group. They faced Benfica in their opener in Portugal and then took the home lead against PSG before the Paris side’s superior talent gradually crushed them. Even then, it took an 88th-minute Neymar goal to put them away for good in a 3-1 game.
Maccabi are a team that like to press high regardless of their opposition. High pressure has been a particular problem for Juve over the past few years, so avoiding mistakes against the Israelis will be key. If Juve manage to avoid a fight, they should be strong enough to collect their first points of the continental campaign and begin their unlikely comeback attempt.
- Federico Chiesa has resumed training but is still unavailable for matches. The best-case scenario is that he returns to the bench in time for the game against Benfica.
- Paul Pogba and Kaio Jorge remain long-term absentees.
- The biggest injury news is about Arkadiusz Milik. The Polish striker was arguably Juve’s best player this year but missed training due to muscle fatigue, and Massimiliano Allegri said in his pre-match press conference that he would be available on the bench, but that he hopes not to use it.
- Angel Di Maria will play after serving the first of his two-game league suspension this weekend. Allegri praised him for his performance in training during the press.
JUVENTUS PLAYER TO WATCH
Di Maria’s presence on Wednesday will raise some interesting questions. Milik, of course, won’t start, but given the unlikely success of the striker’s partnership with Dusan Vlahovic, how to fit the Argentine veteran into the squad is a bit of a poser.
But however it’s used, Di Maria has some makeup to do. After being a star on his competitive debut in the league opener, Di Maria has been unavailable through injury or suspension for all but four games. The latter is particularly infuriating, as his stupid red card against Monza hurt the team a lot.
After signing a €7million deal in the summer, much more was expected than he has contributed so far. At his height, Di Maria can still dazzle. We all saw it against Sassuolo in August. But for Juve to get out of the hole they’ve dug themselves, Di Maria will have to be the contributor the team paid for, and he’s going to have to start now.
When fit to start, Di Maria has often had the freedom to navigate the attacking third as he sees fit. It caused quite a bit of havoc when he was on, although he didn’t have enough time to polish it with Vlahovic to the point where they know where the other is going. Expect him to start as a nominal right wing, with the freedom to take advantage of the space the Maccabi defense affords him wherever he can find it.
After his last appearance, it’s time for Di Maria to start performing. Let’s go.
When: Wednesday October 5, 2022.
Where: Juventus Stadium, Torino, Italy.
Official kick-off time: 9:00 p.m. local time in Italy and throughout Europe, 8:00 p.m. in the UK, 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, 12:00 p.m. Pacific time.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 8 (UK); Sky Sport Uno (Italy).
Online/Broadcast: Paramount+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); BT Sport app, BTSport.com (UK); SKY Go Italia, Mediaset Infinity (Italy).
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