The last time Juventus stepped onto the Stadio Olimpico field, it ended with players and managers celebrated a second consecutive domestic double. Paulo Dybala was lifting a trophy. Max Allegri was lifting a trophy. Even players who are no longer Juventus players were lifting a trophy.
There will be no trophy handed out at the end of this evening’s game at the Stadio Olimpico. Juventus vs. Lazio isn’t a one-off that will end with confetti and a trophy being raised over people’s heads. This is the second game in a marathon rather than a 90-minute sprint with a trophy waiting for the victor.
But what this game does provide is Juventus to go into the first international break of the season in a completely opposite kind of situation as they found themselves in last season. No points through the first two games last season. The chance to win six out of six points through the first two games this season.
That’s quite a difference even when you consider how Juve were able to rebound and pull away from everybody in the second half of the season.
Staying perfect is good — especially early. No matter what a trip to the Olimpico or a second-week-of-the-season matchup against a Rome-based club may bring. Let’s just how it brings a better result than last season. (The good thing is, you can’t really get much worse than how Round 2 of the Serie A schedule went last August, that’s for sure. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.)
Thirty-seven to go. Sure hope after two games of the season Juventus are in a completely different kind of situation that they were a year ago. That would be nice.
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Benatia, Barzagli, Chiellini; Dani Alves, Khedira, Lemina, Asamoah, Alex Sandro; Dybala, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Neto, Audero, Lichtsteiner, Rugani, Evra, Hernanes, Pjanic, Pjaca, Higuain
Lazio XI (3-4-3): Marchetti; Bastos, De Vrij, Radu; Basta, Parolo, Biglia, Lukaku; Felipe Anderson, Immobile, Lulic
Lazio bench: Strakosha, Vargic, Patric, Prce, Wallace, Murgia, Cataldi, Leitner, Milinkovic-Savic, Lombardi, Kishna, Djordjevic
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