The last time we saw Juventus on the Allianz Stadium field, we were saying goodbye to Gigi Buffon and hello another Scudetto officially being a part of Juve’s near-decade-long dominance of Serie A. It’s been a completely unpredictable road we’ve gone down since that rainy afternoon on May 19 that had so many emotions attached to it.
Players have arrived. Others have left. It’s the same story every summer. But this most recent summer was far, far, far and away from anything close to what we would consider as ordinary.
A summer of change has now made way to a season where expectations are as through the roof as they’ve been in years. The first game since that farewell to Buffon is today, and it’s a pretty good test for this new-look Juventus side that is now led by a Portuguese superstar who racks up likes on Instagram like I rack up credit card bills after visiting the local Foot Locker outlet. (Don’t blame me that the newest Air Max colorways are pretty. Maybe that’s why they’re so expensive.)
Juventus vs. Lazio didn’t get according to plan — or anything even resembling a plan — the last time this fixture was played in Turin. It was a mess, a completely Ciro Immobile-inspired mess that saw a clear and obvious chink in Juventus’ armor come to the forefront.
In theory, this season is supposed to be vastly different. Not just because Cristiano Ronaldo is around and getting paid lots and lots of money. Not just because Leonardo Bonucci has come back after a year-long exile of sorts in Milan. It’s pretty much all of the above — and then some.
The second game of the 2018-19 Serie A season is a much more intriguing game than the first. It’s a much better opponent than the first. And, instead of the spacious Bentegodi, this sucker is right smack dab in Turin at the house that Ale and Gigi built.
Juventus is home.
And let’s hope that it resembles a lot of Juve’s other home openers.
You know, a game where they score a couple of goals and pick up three points.
Those are usually the best kinds of games.
When: Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 p.m. noon on the East Coast; 9 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Perin, Pinsoglio, Barzagli, Benatia, Rugani, Can, Bentancur, Cuadrado, Costa, Dybala
Lazio starting XI (3-5-1-1): Strakosha; Wallace, Acerbi, Radu; Marusic, Parolo, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic, Lulic; Luis Alberto; Immobile
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America (Canada); Eleven Sports 1 UK (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online/mobile: WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ (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.
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