In the span of the last seven days, we’ve basically seen Juventus go from one end of the spectrum to the other when it comes to their on-field performance. There was the high of the 2-0 win over Milan at the San Siro, a game that was arguably as complete of performance as we’ve seen so far this season. All of three days later, Juventus was absolute crap against Sporting, only to be bailed out by Gonzalo Higuain as they came away with a lucky 1-1 draw in Lisbon.
So, basically, going from very good to very ... not-so-good.
Maybe it’s a good thing that another international break is arriving and everybody involved can try and clear their heads of this yo-yo act that has been Juve’s performances over the last month or so. Maybe time away from the field will do everybody some good just as it did Gonzalo Higuain some good during the last international break.
There’s one last thing to do before international call-ups come, ahem, calling. And it just so happens to be against arguably the worst team Juventus is going to end up facing all season long.
Juventus, winners of the past six Serie A titles, will be facing one of the league’s newly-promoted sides. In Benevento’s first 11 Serie A games of the 2017-18 season, they have yet to record a win. They’re 0-for-11. Eleven games up, 11 games dropped. And in those 11 games, they’ve scored a whopping total of four goals.
Divide that number by in half and you’ll have the total of managers Benevento have had through the first three months of the season.
No matter if it’s been Marco Baroni — yes, the same Marco Baroni who used to manage Juve’s primavera side not too long ago — or Roberto De Zerbi, let’s just say that Benevento’s season is going about as bad as one could have thought it might go.
This isn’t a headline-grabbing kind of way to go into the international break. There will be no massive pre-game build-up that will see throngs of coverage and predictions from across the country happening. There will be none of that. It’s simply the six-time defending champions playing against a team that has yet to win a game so far this season.
Even with all of that being said, we will have this:
Ohhhhhhhhh ... that’s nice. That’s very, very nice.
If you wear special jerseys to mark your 120th anniversary, you better try and look good as a team on top of it. Juventus will look good with what they wear regardless of the result on Sunday. How they look on the field against a team they should absolutely dominate is something a lot of us will be curious to see.
Location: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kickoff time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy; 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 9 a.m. on the East Coast; 6 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Matuidi, Marchisio; Cuadrado, Dybala, Douglas Costa; Higuain
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Barzagli, Howedes, Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Khedira, Bentancur, Sturaro, Bernardeschi, Mandzukic
Benevento starting XI (3-4-2-1): Brignoli; Djimsiti, Antei, Di Chiara; Venuti, Chibsah, Viola, Lazaar; Ciciretti, Cataldi; Armenteros
TV: beIN SPORTS USA (United States); beIN Sports Canada (Canada); BT Sport Extra (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online/Mobile: beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., fuboTV (United States) fuboTV Canada, DAZN Canada, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada (Canada); SKY Go Italia, Premium Play (Italy)
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