I'll be liveblogging here, nice and early, hope to see you here. Two notes before the game:
#1- Trezeguet's out till 2009: Juventus.com confirmed that Trez will undergo an operation to fix a right-knee problem, similar to the problem Kaka' had this summer. T-Rez also had this 3-4 years ago. Trez explained he didn't want the ligaments to snap alla Ronaldo, saying it would extend his career 4-5 years. If that's the truth, so be it. I look forward to seeing Camoranesi+Trez dominating the pitch in 2010-2011 at the minimum.
#2- Injury crisis again: Just when we though we might be turning a leaf, injuries hit again: ADP, Camoranesi, Trez, Zanetti, Chiellini, and Zebina are not match-fit, though Chiellini could feature in today's game. With this crisis and possible exhaustion for our Czech duo, it's time for Juventus reserves to prove their worth, as they have already this season. Ranieri's keeping the faith, and it seems Giovinco will make his Juventus Serie A debut.
8 hours till the game. This is what I'd like to see on the field:
Buffon; De Ceglie Legrottaglie Mellberg Salihamidzic; Marchionni, Sissoko, Marchisio, Giovinco; Amauri, Iaquinta
5 minutes till the game; Nedved appears to be starting his 3rd game this week, but Giovinco is on the bench.
0': Well, shit. ESPN360 is broadcasting the game on a 55-minute delay, not sure why. Time to start hunting for a stream.
4': Still hunting for a stream. With the advent of Justin.tv, the quality of streams on Myp2p.eu has dropped hardcore. It's not that they are poor quality or anything, half of the time, they just don't work.
5': Finally. Disallowed goal for Amauri already....not entirely sure what the call was.
Juventus lineup: Buffon; Molinaro, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Grygera; Nedved, Sissoko, Marchisio, Marchionni; Amauri, Iaquinta
7': Well, at least with this lineup we're not underestimating them. I bet we'll see Grygera and Nedved subbed out first since they've been hauling ass plenty this week.
10': And that stream is down. God, fuck streaming. SerieA.tv, where are you?
13': And that lineup is wrong. Salihamidzic is playing, probably at right-back.
15': This shit is garbage. If I can't find a stream anytime soon, I won't liveblog and I'm just watching it delayed on ESPN360. All of these streams are either choppy as shit or plain don't work.
Yeah, this isn't happening. Sorry all.
Alright, so I created an account with a few of the betting sites, but all are blocking American IP's at the moment. Us Yanks can thank the fucking US Congress for knowing what's best for us, apparently online gambling will destroy our personal financial responsibility. I guess it's fine for us to get subprime mortgages when we can't afford them, tank the US economy, and then get multi-billion dollar bailouts for these equally irresponsible companies, eh?
While I'm ranting, epic fail for the market on SerieA in the United States. FSC and Goltv's coverage of it is awful, and while ESPN360 is average, it's usually on delay (as it is today) or oddly enough, just dropped completely. SerieA.tv was a great package at a reasonable price, but it looks like it's pretty much dead. I don't know if they were losing money or if they lost the rights to broadcast it, but 3 1/2 weeks in and the site is still the same old "please wait, we're trying to find new investors" page. There's 20-25million people in the United States of Italian ancestry. There's millions of footy fans. There is a market here, someone should hop over so I can start paying them. Rant over.
First half: See above rant. According to the ESPN commentators, Juve's been looking pretty woeful thus far, our passing has been pretty awful. As I mentioned before, this is an important game for the Bianconeri, we need to pick up maximum points against weaker teams. Bonus points for picking up 3 on the road while playing pretty badly. ESPN was showing highlights of the first half, including an Amauri Robinho-style stepover, hilarious.
45': Buffon is officially out for Manninger. Acquafresca on for Laverrey. ESPN thinks Buffon pulled a groin muscle, hopefully it won't be a big deal. Nedved is now captain.
47': Amauri dribbles well away from Bianco, but is dragged down by his shirt. Yellow card for Bianco.
48': Acquafresca does well to get in between two defenders but is flagged offside, off of a set piece. That's just dumb in my book. And apparently he is from Turin.
49': Tiago is warming up....what?
51': Terrific cross from Marchionni, Iaquinta does a funky backheel scissors kick but it goes over the bar. I don't even know how he got that up.
53': Giovinco is warming up on the sidelines, I'd love to see him come in. Nedved's mere presence causes a Cagliari defender to accidentally kick it out for a corner.
55': January 1999 the last time Cagliari won at home against Juve. Let's hope that continues. Curling cross from Pisano but it goes over the bar.
57': Oh, you gotta be kidding me. Marchionni clears it well, and starts hopping on his foot. Please not be injured. Sissoko gets nudged in the face by a Cagliari player and is a bit irritated by it.
59': Tiago comes on for Sissoko. So we have no real ball-winners in midfield. I'm a fan of Ranieri, but this is a strange one to me.
60': Marchionni is one of our best players of the 2nd half, wins the ball well and passes deep to Amauri who flips it to Iaquinta. Vincenzo attempts a bicycle kick, but it did not happen.
61': Holy shit, Tiago challenged someone roughly for the ball. Maybe there is hope for him!
63': Iaquinta does another bicycle kick from outside of the box, he's really determined to bang one of those in.
65': Juventus has been dominating possession the 2nd half. Good cross from Marchionni misjudged by the Cagliari keeper who misses on the intercept, Nedved volleys but it's blocked by the defender. Manninger on the other hand has not been tested at all.
67': Good save by Marchetti, the Cagliari keeper. Deep cross from Nedved is headed into the top right corner by Amauri, but the keeper saves it. Plows right into the post, too.
68': It'll be very interesting to see who the last Juventus sub is. Will Ranieri decide to play Giovinco, or opt for a more conservative/defensive sub? Another good play from Marchionni but he plays it slightly behind Iaquinta who doesn't get it.
69': For a big man, Amauri is incredibly talented with ball control and dribbling.
70': Marchionni challenges a defender in the air for the ball, no chance in hell he was getting that. I like to see that though, considering he's not a very defensive player it shows he's a fighter. I always said Marchionni was a great reserve for Camoranesi, if healthy, and he's been great thus far in the 2nd half.
72': Last year at the beginning of the season we conceded a lot of goals. 2 to Cagliari, 1 to Livorno, 2 to Roma, 1 to Udinese. We've conceded 1 thus far.
74': Ranieri goes conservative. Sub Paolo De Ceglie in for Marchisio. I'm not sure where he's playing, with Molinaro still in. Given Salihamidzic's versatility, he may move up to midfield and De Ceglie slot in at right-back.
75': Well, a lot of Juventini won't be pleased that Giovinco won't be featuring, but at this stage in the game putting on De Ceglie is understandable, another great touch from him to play to Iaquinta. Looks like he'll be playing left-mid with Nedved in a more central role instead.
78': Rough challenge from Tiago results in a Cagliari free kick and perhaps Tiago was lucky not to get booked there. But I'm very pleased to see Tiago displaying some grit, last season he just apathetically wandered the pitch whenever he didn't have the ball.
80': Errant cross from Marchionni after a good interception by De Ceglie.
82': Great header from Amauri and Iaquinta goes for a volley almost on the line but a very solid block from Bianco, very lucky for Cagliari there, that would have been a goal.
84': There have been some levelling tackles going on, a hell of a blast from Jeda palmed out by Manninger, what a screamer. Terrific first touch from Marchionni to bring the ball down.
85': Cagliari is putting some heavy pressure on at the very end, but called offside.
86': Interesting call from the ref, a great run into the area by Marchionni but it's called offside because Iaquinta was very close to him.
89': Wow, a very intelligent play from Molinaro, serious kudos. Very dangerous long ball played up field to Matri, who's blocked by Molinaro as Manninger comes out for it. Matri fires another screamer but well touched away by Manninger.
90+1': Acquafresca wins a non-existant free kick right on the outside of the area, but blocked by the wall. Iaquinta balloons it over the crossbar on the counter.
90+2': Amauri does well to retain possession and win the foul.
Game over in Sardinia: A hard-fought 3 points, but an important win. 4 games thus far, 1 goal conceded, 4 scored. I'll take it.