The beginning of the new year has seen Juventus players not spend very much time at all actually preparing for games in the same area where they call home. They’ve traveled by train to Bologna for the Coppa Italia last weekend, then returned to Turin only to jet off to Saudi Arabia for the Supercoppa Italiana, the game in which we are here to watch today.
Juventus has the chance to win a trophy today.
OK, it’s not the trophy that we hope Juventus is playing for in about four or five months from now when the Champions League has as many teams left as needed to count on one hand. But, it’s still a trophy. And it’s one that could won against a club that has certainly had its own chances to win said trophy over the years — whether against Juventus or somebody else.
So, Juventus have traveled to Saudi Arabia to try and win a trophy. That is what today is about. Wednesday night in Jeddah could turn into trophy day.
There are plenty of things to pay attention to heading into this one.
Based on what the transfer rumor cycle has been back home in Italy the last few days, there may be no bigger spotlight than the one on Gonzalo Higuain as he gets set to face his former team for the second time in a matter of two months. We don’t know how much longer Higuain will be at Milan. It could be until the end of the season. It could be for another week or two.
Either way, the last time Higuain was on the same field as so many of his former bianconero-clad teammates, well, he was screaming at a referee, missing a penalty and getting sent off all within a handful of minutes.
It was one of those days.
And, oh yeah, Juventus won that game. That was a cool win.
There probably won’t be any kind of major lineup surprises when Max Allegri submits his starting XI an hour before kickoff. Essentially the only lineup “question” was whether it was going to be Federico Bernardeschi or Douglas Costa starting on the wing opposite of Paulo Dybala. That’s it. Joao Cancelo is expected back. Cristiano Ronaldo, Alex Sandro and all the other regulars who didn’t start on Saturday are expected to return to the lineup.
Now all there’s left is for Juventus to go out, beat Milan and win another trophy. Maybe there doesn’t need to be a Higuain red card like there was last time, but if Wojciech Szczesny is going to go ahead and save another penalty, I guess I wouldn’t object to it if the situation calls for something like that to have to happen.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019
Where: King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Official kickoff time: 8:30 p.m. local time in Saudi Arabia; 6:30 p.m. in Italy and across Europe; 5:30 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time; 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Del Favero, De Sciglio, Khedira, Kean, Can, Rugani, Bernardeschi, Spinazzola
AC Milan starting XI (4-3-3): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessié, Bakayoko, Paquetá; Castillejo, Cutrone, Calhanoglu
AC Milan bench: A. Donnarumma, Reina, Abate, Conti, Musacchio, Simic, Strinic, Laxalt, Bertolacci, Mauri, Montolivo, Borini, Higuain
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (United States); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, RAI Uno (Italy)
Online/mobile: WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ (United States); FloFC (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); RAI Play, 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.