The final game before an international break is always an interesting proposition.
There’s the fact that we know for a fact, regardless of how Juventus plays, that there will be no football for the next two weeks outside of a few choice international fixtures. There’s also the fact that, a lot like when Juve beat Inter Milan right before the October international break, that the Bianconeri plays really well going into the break and you want to see them play immediately after to not derail any kind of good vibes that are around the club.
The third option is one that’s a lot like the second, but the other end of the spectrum: If Juventus plays like crap right before the international break, is it a good thing that they’re sitting on that performance and/or result for two weeks? Or is the break a good thing?
That’s obviously something we won’t know for a couple of weeks, in all likelihood.
But the first part of the equation involves Juventus taking the field one last time before the November international break interrupts our football viewing for the next two weeks. Tonight’s final game is a little like the last time Juve had a game before the international break in the sense that involves a team from Milan. That time was Inter, this time is AC Milan, and instead of it being at the San Siro, Juventus gets to welcome the once-great black-and-red side of Milan to Allianz Stadium as the Bianconeri look to leapfrog Inter once again and reclaim their spot in first place in the Serie A table.
This once-great rivalry that used to be contended between two of the top teams in Italy has become just another round in recent years thanks to Milan’s struggles. That’s again the case this season, with Milan already on its second manager within the first 2 1⁄2 months of the season and the club currently sitting closer to the relegation zone than any of the top spots in the Serie A table.
So, on paper, one would think that this could be an easy win for Juventus going into the international break.
But, as we’ve seen with Juventus’ form as of late, just because the wins continue to come pretty much every time Maurizio Sarri’s squad steps onto the field, it hasn’t been all that pretty or relatively enjoyable to watch. (Which, kinda goes against why Juve hired Sarri in the first place ... right?) Juventus has, instead, relied on individual moments of individual brilliance to win games, as Sarri pointed out in his pre-match press conference prior to the midweek win over Lokomotiv Moscow ... and then Douglas Costa bailed Juve out.
So, maybe Juventus will need another moment of individual brilliance.
Or maybe this will be a game where a one-goal lead won’t be happening in the final minutes.
Either way, I think it’s safe to say we all want Juventus to go into the international break with three more points, a spot atop the Serie A standings and more talk about how much of a gap there is between themselves and Milan.
Is that too much to ask? I sure hope not.
When: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, De Sciglio, Khedira, Ramsey, Dybala, Douglas Costa, Danilo, Emre Can, Rugani, Rabiot, Demiral
AC Milan starting XI (4-3-3): G. Donnarumma; Conti, Duarte, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Paqueta, Bennacer, Krunic; Suso, Piatek, Calhanoglu
AC Milan bench: Reina, A. Donnarumma, Calabria, Bonaventura, Leao, Rebic, Biglia, Caldara, Gabbia, Rodriguez
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America, TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1, 1Sky Sport Serie A, NOW TV (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (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.