For two weeks, there hasn’t been many Juventus-related things to talk about. You could say that’s normal for an international break in the middle of October, but at the same time, things were even more quiet than what it’s normally like.
Sure, there were a few injury scares while players were on international duty. But other than that, the sound of silence was pretty much the norm. No crazy out-of-the-box transfer rumors, nothing like that, really. Just a good amount of silence that made up for all of the Azzurri-related chatter that happened as a result of their two disappointing World Cup qualifier performances.
For good or bad, the silence was there and there was nothing anybody could have done to either prevent it or change what happened over the last two weeks since we last saw Juventus on the field in Bergamo.
But it’s over now. And the schedule is about to get very, very busy.
The international break is over and with it comes the return of a four-week period in which Juventus are about to be playing every three or four days. The way the schedule is going to be structured isn’t going to be a surprise because this is how things are when the Champions League group stage starts up and becomes an important part of Juve’s season.
The first game that starts this latest important stretch of the season just so happens to be taking place in Turin where Lazio look to do exactly what they did against Max Allegri’s squad in the Supercoppa two months ago. (Well, maybe not in the same kind of last-second fashion, but end up on the winning end of the scoreline.)
We want to see what Juventus are like not only after that strange, strange game against Atalanta, but also how things play out as they start to get healthy again. Juventus aren’t in first place anymore. They’re now forced to chase rather than look down on the other 19 teams in Serie A. Beating Lazio today would mean, albeit for possibly just a couple of hours, Juve return to the top spot in Italy’s top division.
A repeat of the Supercoppa wouldn’t be very good — unless you’re talking about that 10-minute span where Paulo Dybala became Superman and willed his team back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it and put them on the doorstep of extra time. If Juventus — or Dybala, for that matter — want to play like that small snippet from the last time they played Lazio this time around, that’d be cool.
Starting another post-international break run of games with a win sounds like a good idea. And just so you know, that’s a JUVENTUS win, but you probably knew that by now.
Location: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kick-off time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 p.m. on the East Coast; 9 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Bentancur, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Benatia, Alex Sandro, Rugani, Sturaro, Dybala, Cuadrado, Bernardeschi
Lazio starting XI: Strakosha; Bastos, De Vrij, Radu; Marusic, Parolo, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic, Lulic; Luis Alberto; Immobile
Lazio bench: Vargic, Guerrieri, Luiz Felipe, Mauricio, Murgia, Di Gennaro, Patric, Pedro Neto, Nani, Caicedo
TV: beIN SPORTS USA (United States); beIN Sports Canada (Canada); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online/Mobile: beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., fuboTV (United States); beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada, fuboTV Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia (Italy)
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