Business is about to pick up, folks.
Juventus and Atalanta. The first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals. Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia. Sounds like a nice little way to spend a Tuesday night in Bergamo, right?
That is if Juventus wins, of course. And the last couple of games, even though they did actually win, didn’t exactly show a whole hell of a lot to be happy about.
Juventus’ first two post-winter break games have, in a word, meh. They haven’t played well at all — and that’s probably putting it lightly. Juve’s wins over Genoa and Chievo have been far from convincing, far from anything good and memorable. The only good thing to take out of the last 180 or so minutes that Juventus have played is that they haven’t lost and have gotten six out of a possible six points to keep pace with first-place Napoli.
But I feel pretty safe in saying that if Juventus played anything like they did against Genoa and Chievo when they face Atalanta tonight, then they’ll be heading back to Turin on the wrong end of the aggregate scoreline and in need of some major help to make another Coppa Italia final.
There’s that, which is quite important.
And let’s be honest here: Gianluigi Buffon is returning to Juventus’ starting lineup tonight. (Duh, cuz look at all the Buffon pictures in this thread already.) Nobody wants to see Buffon suffer any kind of bad times in his return to the starting lineup. That just wouldn’t be right.
So, if there’s one thing Juventus should do when they face Atalanta in the first leg of this Coppa Italia semifinal tie, it’s to not disappoint their beloved captain who will be able say he’s officially playing in his 40s when he takes the field as he leads Juventus out of the tunnel.
Nobody wants a sad Gigi. NOBODY.
Location: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, Bergamo, 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 (4-3-3): Buffon; De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Rugani, Asamoah, Marchisio, Sturaro, Bentancur, Bernardeschi
Atalanta starting XI (3-5-2/3-4-1-2): Berisha; Palomino, Masiello, Toloi; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Castagne; Cristante; Cornelius, Gomez
Atalanta bench: Rossi, Gollini, Mancini, Bastoni, Caldara, Gosens, Schmidt, Ilicic, Haas, Petagna, Barrow, Orsolini
TV: GOLTV USA, GolTV Espanol (United States); SKY GO Extra, NOW TV UK, Sky Sports Red Button, Sky Sports Mix (United Kingdom); RAI Uno (Italy)
Online/Mobile: fuboTV (United States); Sky Go UK (United Kingdom); RAI Play (Italy)
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