If we are looking at Juventus' games against Cesena and Atalanta as final tuneups for the first leg of the Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund, then it's safe to say Max Allegri and Co. aren't exactly off to a hot start. The 2-2 draw against Cesena was probably uninspiring at best, with Juventus blowing a pair of chances to grab all three points and taken them back with them to Turin.
What can Juve do in their final final final tuneup before the former Champions League finalists come to Juventus Stadium? Will they be able to get any kind of positive momentum going into what will be the biggest game of the season to date? What is Max Allegri's plan when it comes to rotating the squad four days before Dortmund's visit to Juventus Stadium on Tuesday?
Ah, that's why we watch these games, boys and girls.
Juventus' time for messing around is over. We know how important the next seven games are when it comes to the success of the current season. And if Juve are really aiming to get right — not just with a win and three points, but a really good performance — before Dortmund rolls into town, the time is now.
That means no more dilly dallying around against relegation battlers.
No more defensive miscues that lead to preventable goals.
And no more playing like complete garbage and teams Juventus have no business playing so poorly against.
In just a couple of days, it will be full on Champions League mode. It sure would be nice to going into it with a feeling that Juventus have a good shot of playing well in the first leg against Dortmund rather than having the desire to smash my head against the wall like last weekend.
Nothing more to say than the obviously, really. Will there be squad rotation? Will there be the same kind of lineup we saw against Cesena? Will there be Simone Padoin? Well, there's only one thing left to say now...
Starting lineups for both Juventus and Atalanta will be posted RIGHT HERE when they become available. Let us have squad rotation, maybe even a Simone or two, and above all else, a good Juventus showing with three wins on the end of it. That sounds pretty good, right? RIGHT!
UPDATE: LINEUPS ARE IN!
Juventus XI (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini, Padoin; Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba; Pereyra; Tevez, Llorente
Juventus bench: Storari, Rubinho, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Ogbonna, De Ceglie, Evra, Sturaro, Pepe, Morata, Coman, Matri
Atalanta XI (4-5-1): Sportiello; Bellini, A Masiello, Migliaccio, Scaloni; Zappacosta, Cigarini, Baselli, Drame, Emanuelson; Denis
Atalanta bench: Avramov, Boakye, D'Alessandro, Grassi, Gomez, Kresic, Frezzolini, Bianchi, Del Grosso
- Juventus vs. Atalanta Preview: Round 24 — Friday Night Lights
- Looking at Juventus' upcoming season-defining four-week stretch
- Cesena 2-2 Juventus: Bianconeri miss the chance to extend Serie A lead — again
- Juventus 2 - Cesena 2: Initial reaction and random observations
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Cesena