Juventus will enter their last-32 Europa League match with Trabzonspor looking to keep their stellar year rolling.
They will host the Turkish club on Feb. 20 for the first leg of this matchup. The second leg comes on Feb. 27.
Juventus have ample reasons to be confident heading into this matchup...or any other for that matter. The Italian club sits in first in the Serie A table with 63 points. They have lost just one league match all season and are nine points ahead of second-place Roma.
Meanwhile, Trabzonspor have been solid. They are in ninth place in the Super Lig table, but they've struggled mightily on the road. They have just one win in 10 matches as the away team this league year.
They now must hope to turn around those road woes, or Juventus will put this one away before it gets to the second leg.
When: Thursday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. ET/6 p.m. GMT
Where: Juventus Stadium, Torino
TV: ESPN Deportes, BT Sport 1
Live Stream: FoxSoccer2Go (Subscription Required)
Key Storyline: Will Juventus overlook Trabzonspor?
I don't mean to bash on Trabzonspor. They are a solid side. Still, if mighty Juventus play up to their capabilities, they will advance. There is no guarantee that will happen, though.
It wouldn't be a shock to see Juventus come out with a lackadaisical attitude against an inferior out-of-league opponent.
That won't be the case, however, if Juventus coach Antonio Conte has his way. PA Sport, via ESPN, passed along this quote from Conte:
We cannot forget that Trabzonspor finished ahead of Lazio in the group stages of the competition.
They have very good players and they have experience. We will have to be focused from start to finish.
I'm sure Conte won't be shy about pointing out to his team that the last time they faced a Turkish opponent, they were eliminated from the Champions League with a 1-0 defeat at Galatasaray.
Juventus have a hectic schedule in the coming weeks, and this team will have their gaze fixed on winning Serie A.
Might those efforts come at the expense of the Europa League?
Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Trabzonspor
Needless to say, I don't see the preceding factors I laid out keeping Juventus from victory. This team has solid depth and a world of confidence. They will not be turned away at home.
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