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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Lazio

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Big game. Important game. Hopefully a good game.

Juventus v Atletico Madrid: Group D - UEFA Champions League Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Many times during Juventus’ eight-year title run in Serie A, matchups between the Italian champions and another top-of-the-table opponent have seen the Bianconeri be considered the more in-form team. It’s been the reason why Juve had the lead they did at the moment, or whey they were about to overtake somebody and go on to solidify their spot in first place.

Juventus enters tonight’s in the kind of form where you worry about the reigning champions dropping points for the second straight weekend rather than kicking the ass of third-place Lazio, the most in-form team Serie A has to offer at the moment. Previous words we’d use to describe how Juventus was playing are completely applicable when it comes to Lazio.

Sure, Juventus is in second place and Lazio is in third.

But when you compare how one club is playing compared to the other, it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s entering this second-place vs. third-place showdown in good shape and who is in need of a really good performance to try and get things going again.

Of course, it might be funny to hear that about a Juventus squad that still hasn’t lost a game as we sit here on the first weekend of December. But, despite the zero still being in the loss column for Maurizio Sarri and Juventus, things haven’t been all that pretty for weeks now, with un-Sarriball-like performances being stacked up on top of one another like a bunch of red Solo cups at a fraternity party.

This game isn’t just important for Juventus in terms of getting three points against the team that is trying to chase them down in the standings. This game isn’t just important because Roma helped Juve out 24 hours ago and held Inter to a scoreless draw at San Siro.

It’s important, maybe above everything, because playing well against a good and in-form team like Lazio is will help ease the chatter regarding Juventus’ performances of late. To get a result — especially one at a place like the Olimpico — would be great, but seeing Juventus play like the team we saw in the first few weeks of the season might be even better.

MATCH INFO

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019

Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, 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

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Dybala, Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Danilo, Rugani, Demiral, Emre Can, Rabiot, Muratore, Portanova, Pjaca, Higuain

Lazio starting XI (3-5-2): Strakosha; Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Luis Alberto, Lulic; Correa, Immobile

HOW TO WATCH

Television: RAI Italia North America (United States); TLN, RAI Italia North America (Canada); Premium Sports 1 (United Kingdom)

Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); DAZN (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.