For months we’ve been awaiting Juventus to begin competition in the Coppa Italia. Seeing as it’s the Coppa Italia, maybe you’re not as excited about it as other competitions Juventus are currently taking part in, but it’s the last part of Juve’s three-front participation that is about to make the schedule that much more hectic.
For a select group of teams in Italy’s top flight, the new year break is going to end a little earlier than it will for others. And for Juventus, there’s a little business to take care of before they head off to the Middle East to play for a trophy in what is basically a glorified exhibition against one of their biggest domestic rivals.
Today is Juventus’ first Coppa Italia days of the 2018-19 season. It took until 2019 for Juventus to officially enter the fray, but here we are.
The Round of 16 in the Coppa Italia, Juve’s first foray into the competition that they’ve won the last four seasons, is upon us. Juventus players and coaches have boarded the train over to the eastern part of the country and are set to face a Bologna side that has been all kinds of struggle in the first half of the season.
As always, there is always going to be the possibility of the Coppa Italia giving players who haven’t played much some actual playing time.
For Juventus, the two major beneficiaries of that are:
- Moise Kean
- Leonardo Spinazzola
The two players, both products of Juve’s youth academy, have been two of Max Allegri’s least-utilized players so far this season. It’s obviously for two very different kinds of reasons — Kean part of one of the deepest attacking groups in Europe; Spinazzola on the road back from knee surgery that kept him out for the entirety of the first half of the season.
Maybe Allegri’s words will turn out to be true and both Kean and Spinazzola could feature as he mentioned in his pre-match press conference. Or we could be left wondering for another day just when these two youngsters will get their first starts in a Juve shirt.
Ah, Coppa Italia fun. Welcome back.
When: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019
Where: Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna, Italy
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; De Sciglio,
Benatia Chiellini, Bonucci, Spinazzola; Khedira, Pjanic, Emre Can; Bernardeschi, Kean, Douglas Costa
Juventus bench: Perin, Pinsoglio, Rugani,
Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Bentancur, Matuidi, Ronaldo, Dybala
Bologna starting XI (3-5-2): Da Costa; Calabresi, Danilo, Helander; Mattiello, Soriano, Pulgar, Svanberg, Dijks; Destro, Palacio
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); RAI Uno (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); FloFC (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); RAI Play (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.