It has been nearly a month since Juventus played a Serie A game. From the Supercoppa on Dec. 23, to Christmas to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there’s been a lack of seeing Juventus play on their home field against domestic opposition. Three-plus weeks without hearing AC/DC blast over the loudspeakers. Three-plus weeks without fancy pre-game light shows and listening to the curva sud sing Paulo Dybala’s name.
That all ends now.
Juventus’ first game of 2017 is here. The winter champions are back on the field and back at Juventus Stadium. Juventus’ task? Try and extend what has been recent domination over a Bologna side that has had their struggles over the past few months yet are still relatively clear of the relegation zone. (When you’ve got teams like Palermo, Crotone and Pescara playing even worse, sometimes being 10 points clear of the relegation zone while still being in 15th place isn’t the worst thing in the world.)
Juventus, for all of the frustration that was felt after the Super Cup loss to Milan, went into the lengthy holiday break playing relatively well. That can be viewed as a good thing considering they actually improved their play after inconsistent performances over the first three months of the season. Or maybe it can be viewed as a small-sample size honey hole where Juve’s bad performances still outweigh the good.
That’s what we’re about to find out.
Which Juventus will show up, the one from September and October? Or will the Juventus Version December 2016 continue to give us a little more optimism as the new year gets underway?
Or, you know, Juventus can just go ahead and do what they’ve done against Bologna in so many years prior. That would be cool, too.
It will be cold. Not just cold, but below-freezing kind of cold. Let’s just hope that Juventus’ on-field performance doesn’t resemble that of what’s coming up on the temperature gauge on the sidelines. Let us hope. And maybe pray a little because starting the new year off on the right foot is something that would be quite nice.
Location: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Neto; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Marchisio, Sturaro; Pjanic; Dybala, Higuain
Juventus bench: Audero, Del Favero, Semprini, Rugani, Hernanes, Rincon, Cuadrado, Mandzukic, Pjaca
Bologna starting XI (4-3-3): Mirante; Torosidis, Oikonomou, Maietta, Masina; Donsah, Viviani, Dzemaili; Krejci, Destro, Di Francesco
TV: RAI International (United States); RAI International (Canada); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); Sky Calcio 1, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy)
Online: fuboTV, beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A. (United States); beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live Streaming (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia (Italy)
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