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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Empoli

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It’s been nearly two whole years since we last saw Empoli facing Juventus. That season ended with Empoli being one of the usual three teams sent packing to Serie B, with the Tuscan side falling victim to Crotone’s last-second heroics to keep their spot in Italy’s top flight for another season.

But, after a year in the second division, Empoli are back.

And now, the Italian champions and everything that comes along with Juventus is coming to town for a Saturday showdown.

Juventus, fresh off their win against Manchester United in the Champions League, is going to try and avoid dropping points for the second straight Saturday against an opponent that’s sitting in the bottom half of the table. Empoli is struggling even more than Genoa has been this season, with only one win to show for their efforts in the opening nine games of the Serie A season.

Sounds like the game kind of game that Juventus should win easily, right?

Well, on paper, yes, absolutely.

But hey, for as well as they’ve played sometimes the last few weeks, there’s always going to be the overlying theme hanging over a game where Juventus could end up being Juventus’ own worst enemy. And against a relegation battler like Empoli is most certainly going to end up being for the rest of the season, preventing Juve from hurting Juve might as well be the No. 1 priority to try and prevent any kind of silliness from taking place.

We don’t want silly. We want three points.

MATCH INFO

When: Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018

Where: Stadio Carlo Castellani, Empoli, Italy

Official kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 noon Eastern Time, 9 a.m. Pacific Time

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Benatia, Douglas Costa, Barzagli, Cuadrado, Kean, Cancelo, Rugani, Spinazzola

Empoli starting XI (4-3-2-1): Provedel; Di Lorenzo, Silvestre, Maietta, Antonelli; Acquah, Traore, Bennacer; Krunic, Zajc; Caputo

HOW TO WATCH

Television: TLN (Canada); Eleven Sports 2 UK (United Kingdom); Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)

Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); SKY Go Italia (Italy)

Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.