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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Sampdoria

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Juventus v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

For one last time, Juventus will take the field in 2018. It coincides with the first half of the Serie A season coming to a close, one where the unofficial winter champions tag has been attached to Juventus once again. That game, a lunchtime kickoff this afternoon, will be at Allianz Stadium, a place where Juve celebrated quite a few wins over the last 12 months.

So, here we are, at the end of a year where so much has happened.

Juventus welcomes Sampdoria to Allianz Stadium this afternoon for one last game this year where yours truly will be up hours before the sun rises. Should be fun, right?! Lunchtime kickoffs, grumpy editors writing post-game things just as the sun is rising — you gotta love it.

This is about Juventus, not me, so we shall get back on a black and white kind of track.

Juve, atop the Serie A standings by a nine-point margin, are about to play the final game in a month of December that was important for a number of reasons. And even though Juventus’ level of play wasn’t all that great over the last four weeks — and even going further back than just the first of the month — hasn’t been all that great even though they have four wins and a draw in those six games, including victories over Roma, Torino and Inter.

No, a win over Sampdoria won’t be a season-defining one or anything like that.

But after a month where the play has been more miss than hit in terms of how the team played, there’s one last chance to leave a lasting impression in 2018. One last chance to score goals in the calendar year. One last chance, before the first half of the season comes to an official end, to extend the lead over Napoli and then sit back and watch the rest of the day’s games to see if it stays that way.

Here’s to hoping Juventus closes the calendar year of 2018 just the way they started it — win a win, and a good one at that.

MATCH INFO

When: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2018

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy

Official kickoff time: 12:30 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe; 11:30 a.m. in the United Kingdom; 6:30 a.m. Eastern Time; 3:30 a.m. Pacific Time

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (4-3-3/4-3-1-2): Szczesny Perin; De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Emre Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Benatia, Khedira, Douglas Costa, Kean, Bonucci, Bernardeschi, Spinazzola

Sampdoria starting XI (4-3-1-2): Audero; Sala, Ferrari, Colley, Murru; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty; Ramirez; Quagliarella, Caprari

Sampdoria bench: Rafael, Belec, Vieira, Saponara, Jankto, Leverbe, Regini, Tavares, Tonelli, Defrel, Rolando, Kownacki

HOW TO WATCH

Television: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (United States); Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy)

Online/mobile: WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Eleven Sports 1 UK (United Kingdom); 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.