Unfortunately for Juventus, their Champions League campaign looks destined to end before it truly begins.
In the first four matchdays, Max Allegri’s men were only able to register a solitary victory which came at the expense of Maccabi Haifa, who shockingly returned the favor a week later, leaving the dreadful Italians on the cusp of elimination.
The Bianconeri are now five points behind joint-leaders PSG and Benfica, and still have a meeting against both sides before likely bidding the competition farewell.
Even if Juventus were to beat their next two opponents, the French and Portuguese only have to collect three points against Maccabi to wield the axe on our UCL adventure.
But regardless of the final outcome, our players must try their best to pull off positive results in their two remaining group stage outings, starting from Tuesday’s trip to Lisbon.
So here are three reasons why Juventus have to beat Benfica this evening.
After earning morale boosting wins over Torino and Empoli, Allegri’s side is beginning to find the right recipe. However, this winning streak (if we can call it such) remains too young to survive a setback at this point.
In other words, a defeat to Benfica would shatter any momentum or progress gained in recent weeks.
Even though getting eliminated by supposedly-lower opposition has been the trend in the past four years, Juventus must at the very least pick up a consolation win over Benfica.
Back-to-back defeats against the Lisbon-based club would be a devastating blow for what remains of the club’s old scintillating image on the continental level.
While getting ousted from the Champions League group stage is an embarrassment on its own, just imagine how humiliating it would be if we finish at the bottom of the group and miss out on the Europa League spot.
Sadly, even the undesired third position isn’t guaranteed at the moment, with Juventus being level on points with Maccabi.
So let’s try to pick up some points to dispatch ourselves from the European minnows and avoid additional banter.