As we head toward the final week of November, we know that the Juventus fixture list is about to pick up a couple of levels. There are a pair of huge Serie A showdowns with an incredibly important Champions League group stage finale mixed in there in between the two of them. The trio of games, all of which that will go down in the span of nine days, will certainly go along with the tagline of “biggest game of the year to date” because they will be.
But first, before all of that, Juventus must play Crotone.
The same Crotone that barely survived getting relegated at the end of last season. The same Crotone that is once again looking at a relegation fight as it enters the weekend just a few points above the bottom three. The same Crotone side that Juventus smacked 3-0 on the same day that saw them celebrate a record sixth straight Scudetto just a few minutes after the final whistle sounded.
Another 3-0 win sure would be nice.
So would Juventus just playing a complete and good game, too.
We haven’t seen much of that lately. As much as Max Allegri says there’s no crisis amongst his team right now, the overall quality of his team’s displays over the last month or two have not been very convincing. It doesn’t matter if it comes against a team in Europe, a top six Serie A side or a relegation battler, seeing Juventus look completely average — or even worse — seems to be the norm of late.
With what’s on the horizon, changing that overall quality of performance only seems to be assumed, if not one of the easiest things you’ll be able to identify.
Whether Juventus can actually do it, well, we won’t know that for another two weeks.
But for a start, there’s Crotone, which will serve as the warm-up to an incredibly important stretch of games for Juventus both domestically and in Europe.
There’s “an obligation to win,” you say? Well I certainly would be okay with Juventus winning. And maybe they can go ahead and play well at the same time, too. Wouldn’t that be something...
Location: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kickoff 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 (3-4-3): Buffon; Barzagli, Benatia, Howedes; Lichtsteiner, Marchisio, Matuidi, Alex Sandro; Douglas Costa, Mandzukic, Dybala
Juventus bench: Szczęsny, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Rugani, Asamoah, Pjanic, Sturaro, Bentancur, Higuain
Crotone starting XI (4-4-2): Cordaz; Sampirisi, Ceccherini, Ajeti, Pavlovic; Rohden, Mandragora, Barberis, Nalini; Tonev, Budimir
TV: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America (Canada); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1, PremiumSport HD (Italy)
Online/Mobile: beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., fuboTV (United States); DAZN Canada, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia, Premium Play (Italy)
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