It's not hard to figure out how much more of the first half of the season actually remains. With Giornata 19 arriving, all of 90 minutes is all that stands between a winter champion being crowned and Juventus continuing its upward trajectory and quest for the top of the Serie A table. Time's ticking as the minutes go by. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
Juventus and Sampdoria will officially close out the first half with Sunday night Serie A football. It will be a fiery atmosphere at the Luigi Ferraris because it always is. Might it match the intensity of Wednesday's Derby della Lanterna? Ehhhh, I don't know about that one, but it will definitely be loud because that's just how Juve-Samp games are at the Marassi.
.@OfficialAllegri: "Sampdoria played very well in the derby last week. We know that they will be in high spirits leading into #SampJuve."— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 9, 2016
Yes, unlike Juventus' last opponent who we knew wasn't coming off a win simply because they don't have one of those, Sampdoria was victorious after the midweek derby. But we know that Juve is coming off yet another win as well. Make that eight straight league wins following Wednesday's simple yet effective 3-0 victory over Hellas Verona. It was exactly what we all wanted Juve to do after struggling to put another bottom dweller, Carpi, to bed going into the holiday break.
Sampdoria will almost certainly be a step up or two in difficulty from Hellas. That's not a bad thing. It could just make things a little more ... interesting. Yeah, let's go with interesting for now.
Here's to one more good time in the first half of the season. Ah, good old Serie A. We're so happy you're back after our respective calcio-less holiday breaks. But that's also because Juventus is winning. So keep winning, Juventus. You know what to do from here.
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Daniele Rugani, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sami Khedira, Hernanes, Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra; Alvaro Morata, Paulo Dybala
Juventus bench: Neto, Emil Audero, Martin Caceres, Alex Sandro, Simone Padoin, Stefano Sturaro, Kwadwo Asamoah, Mattia Vitale, Juan Cuadrado, Simone Zaza
Sampdoria XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Viviano; Mattia Cassani, Niklas Moisander, Ervin Zukanovic, Vasco Regini; Roberto Soriano, Fernando, Edgar Barreto; Carlos Carbonero, Antonio Cassano, Eder
How to watch
TV: beIN Sports (United States); beIN Sports Canada (Canada); BT Sport Europe (United Kingdom); Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy)
Online: beIN Sport CONNECT, Fubo TV (United States); beIN Sports CONNECT Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live Streaming (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.