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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Sassuolo

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To rise up the table, Juventus needs points. And not just a point here, a point there, a point every so often like we've seen happen for most of the first nine games of the Serie A season. Far from it, actually. To get to where Juventus want to be — you know, like having a legitimate shot to defend their league title — Juve need to get points in a hurry to fly up the table like Gigi Buffon making one of those pretty saves of his right by the crossbar.

Maybe we can think of it as a multi-step process with an international break approaching in a few weeks.

First was the win over Atalanta, one of Juventus' best performances of the season. Then, there will be a possible win away from home against a solid Sassuolo side led by a certain Domenico Berardi. Then, the Turin derby at home against Torino. Then, finally, with the attack getting better — at least in theory — a matchup against one of the worst defenses in Serie A when Juve face Empoli before the international break arrives.

It's all very simple. Oh so very simple.

We've reached that second step in the process, with Juventus heading to the Mapei Stadium to face Sassuolo in one of the more intriguing Serie A matchups of the midweek slate of games. Here's Juventus trying to get up into the top half of the table without much more delay, while Sassuolo currently sits sixth and is probably a result or two from hopping into a European spot in the standings.

Not exactly how we drew it up. But nothing about this current season has been routine or made any kind of sense.That's pretty well known at this point — especially when you consider Juve have basically been looking up in the standings at the majority of their league opponents thus far.

But to change that, Juve will need points. And positive results. They go hand-in-hand, you know.

Ah, so simple. Oh so very simple.

Lineups

Juventus XI (4-3-3/3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Stefano Sturaro, Mario Lemina, Paul Pogba; Juan Cuadrado, Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala

Juventus bench: Neto, Emil Audero, Daniele Rugani, Patrice Evra, Simone Padoin, Sami Khedira, Hernanes, Simone Zaza, Álvaro Morata

Sassuolo XI (4-3-3): Gianluca Pegolo; Sime Vrsaljko, Paolo Cannavaro, Francesco Acerbi, Federico Peluso; Simone Missiroli, Francesco Magnanelli, Davide Biondini; Domenico Berardi, Sergio Floccari, Nicola Sansone

How to watch

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD (Italy)

Online: beIN Sports CONNECT (United States); BT Sport Extra (United Kingdom); Sky Go Italia (Italy)

Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live on Twitter. If you haven't already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.