For the past 17 days, all we've done is wait. Juventus was last seen winning its seventh straight Serie A game on Dec. 20, a lunchtime kickoff at Carpi. Then they went away. We knew they'd come back, but we also knew the wait would be filled with empty weekends and a bunch of transfer rumors that probably will turn up being a load of crap anyways.
Fear not, fellow Juventini. Our waiting is over. Behold, Juventus has a game today.
You can go up to your closest mountain top of hillside and scream "JUVENTUS BACK!!" from the top of your lungs once again. Do it to your hearts content. Today is a good day, one that should be celebrated. (Although, if you live in California like I do, screaming loud noises is probably not the best idea seeing as today's game kicks off at six in the freaking morning.)
Short answer: Yes.
Somewhat longer answer: Hell freaking yes.
(Side note: Claudio's face is probably much more tan. I mean, he did spend most of his holiday break sitting on the beach with his wife and kids. Oh, the jealousy...)
Juventus hosting Serie A's last-place team, Hellas Verona, without its leading goal scorer this season, Luca Toni, has all the makings of a game that could really be a one-sided affair. Hopefully that's one-sided in favor of the good guys, who are now just three points off the pace behind league leaders (and well known not good guys) Inter Milan.
But to start the new year on the right foot, Juventus can't drop any more points against teams they have new business dropping points against. I think that's a pretty well-known fact at this point seeing as Juve have done that more than once during the early parts of the season.
So let's just hope that seven-game winning streak goes up another notch on the belt. That sure would be a lovely way to spend the first couple hours of Juventus' 2016 portion of the schedule.
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Martin Caceres, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Paul Pogba, Alex Sandro; Álvaro Morata, Paulo Dybala
Juventus bench: Neto, Rubinho, Daniele Rugani, Patrice Evra, Simone Padoin, Stefano Sturaro, Hernanes, Mattia Vitale, Kwadwo Asamoah, Juan Cuadrado, Simone Zaza
Hellas Verona XI (4-2-3-1): Pierluigi Gollini; Matteo Bianchetti, Vangelis Moras, Filip Helander, Samuel Souprayen; Leandro Greco, Emil Hallfredsson; Pawel Wszolek, Artur Ionita, Luca Siligardi; Giampaolo Pazzini
TV: beIN Sports en Español (United States, Canada); BT Sport Europe (United Kingdom); Premium Calcio (Italy)
Online: beIN Sports CONNECT U.S.A. (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.