Usually the sight of a jersey with black and blue stripes brings out a lot of vitriol and anger from those of us in Juventus-colored glasses. That’s usually because when we think of black and blue jerseys, what usually comes with it is the fact that Juventus are going to be playing Inter in the Derby d’Italia.
While Juve will be seeing a lot of black and blue the next 180 minutes or so of game time over the next four days, it won’t be against Inter. Instead, it will be against an Atalanta team that just so happens to feature some players that will likely be wearing bianconero in just a matter of months when the club reconvenes in Vinovo come the start of preseason training in the summer.
For now, however, the likes of Mattia Caldara and Leonardo Spinazzola are the opponent this afternoon. They will also be the opponent on Wednesday when Juventus faces Atalanta in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals.
Before the Coppa tie, one must settle the matter of facing Atalanta with the hope that Juventus can continue to keep pace with Napoli in the Serie A standings at the very least. With Napoli playing on Monday night, Juve will be at the top of the table for at least 24 hours hours if they come away with a win in Turin this evening. If they can manage to get some help from Cagliari — probably a tough ask seeing as they have all of two wins since the middle of November — then that amount of time will be much, much longer.
But to be able to be in position to get help, Juventus must take care of their own business first. That’s been the theme of the last few weeks — something we know all too well at this point based on how the schedule has been laid out with this Juve-playing-before-Napoli trend we’ve seen over and over again.
As long as the scenarios remain the same, then there’s no reason to change, I guess.
So here’s to you, less-hated black and blue-jerseyed team. May the wins keep on coming against the Bergamo-based club this season — especially over the next four days.
Location: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 p.m. on the East Coast; 9 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Rugani, Chiellini, Asamoah; Marchisio, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Mandzukic, Alex Sandro
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Benatia, Barzagli, Howedes, Sturaro, Bentancur, Dybala
Atalanta starting XI (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Mancini, Palomino; Castagne, De Roon, Melegoni, Gosens; Haas; Rizzo, Cornelius
Atalanta bench: Berisha, Rossi, Cristante, Masiello, Gomez, Freuler, Caldara, Hateboer, Spinazzola, Ilicic, Bastoni, Barrow
TV: beIN SPORTS USA, Rai Italia America (United States); beIN Sports Canada, 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); beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada, fuboTV Canada, DAZN Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia, RAI Play, Premium Play (Italy)
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