Juventus-Udinese Preview: Round 2 — Do You Know the Way To Udine?

One down, 37 more to go. One more to go — until the international break?

I don't understand this scheduling at all. It's like the kid in the candy store who gets allowed have his favorite treat and then the owner of the place says "LOL JK KIDDO" and makes him wait a couple of weeks before he's allowed back in. It doesn't make any sense. Right when we're getting back in the swing of things — poof! Away with Serie A for two weeks! I don't get it.

Enough about that.

Juventus' season didn't exactly begin with the same kind of fireworks against Parma that it did a year ago, but with three points in the bag, there were at least one parallel to be drawn. There was a Stephan Lichtsteiner goal, but certainly no domination of Parma like there was a year ago. It was same three points going the way of Juventus after the final whistle blew, but it wasn't a complete thrashing that sent Juventus Stadium into a frenzy.

Still, calcio's back — well, until it goes away for a little while — and Juve are still undefeated in the last 40 Serie A games.

The marathon has officially begun and we're approaching lap two of this run (hopefully) towards a repeat. Avanti!

In less than 24 hours, Juventus will face Udinese, who dumped out of the Champions League qualifying round a few days prior. It's been a mixed bag as of late with our bianconeri friends, especially with current boss Francesco Guidolin at the helm. There have been some losses (even with Claudio Marchisio awesomeness). There have been some close wins (courtesy of some Alessandro Matri awesomeness). There have been draws — like the last time these two teams met a season ago.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that Udinese is by no means a given, regardless of what they have been doing on the transfer market over the summer (more on that later).

GOOD NEWS

Nicklas Bendtner is here! Nicklas Bendtner is here! Hooray, hooray!

BAD NEWS

Injuries. More injuries. What, exactly, did Juventus do to piss off the health gods? Juventus have had injury problems before, but it's been a few years since there have been a rash of injuries to begin the season. I mean, when was the last time a Juventus player had their ankle blow up like Lucio's did in training? It's not like this club has other things to worry about right now or anything like that...

Wait a second.

Let's just be thankful that there's an international break for Little Seba to rest up and get that

Or maybe we shouldn't be seeing as so many players will be taking part in games. Dammit.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • MatriQuagliaVuciNer. I just made that up. I know ask you all a question: Who starts up top? My money's — which isn't much because I lost it betting on the horses last weekend — on Matri and Vucinic, but one can never be totally sure on what might happen. Mirko's gonna Mirko. (Definition: He'll either frustrate you all to hell or pull some magic out of his hat and be the best player on the field.)

    Maybe they should've just signed Borriello again. Dammit, Beppe. (Kidding!)
  • All of the random ass Udinese players we will be seeing that weren't with them last season. Okay, maybe they aren't all totally random, but this really is a completely different roster since the last time Juve traveled to the Friuli. There's a couple reasons why Juventus are somewhat responsible for said roster changes, but this summer was really Udinese being Udinese — sell the top talent, replace them with younger, lesser-known players.
  • Mr. #BOH himself. Not only is Kwadwo Asamoah facing his former team, but he's coming off a Man of the Match performance in Juventus' season opener. He's taken to the LWB position like a 10-year veteran, not somebody who has been with Juve for about all of a couple of months. Asamoah is playing as well as anybody right now and, as Ivo said in his review, is looking like one of the summer's best signings in all of Italy.

My starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon/Storari; Bonucci, Marrone, Barzagli; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Vucinic, Matri

If a certain Giorgio Chiellini is 100 percent — and I emphasize, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT — then he is more than welcome to take his spot in Juventus' starting lineup. If he isn't, then Luca Marrone can keep being awesome. Either option is perfectly acceptable.

Udinese probable XI (3-5-1-1): Brkic; Heurtaux, Danilo, Coda; Basta, Faraoni, Willians, Pereyra, Pasquele; Maicosuel; Di Natale

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