After losses like Juventus suffered on Wednesday night, there’s always the anticipation that some kind of response is in order. After the all the reaction, all the back-and-forth about what went wrong and what it all means, it’s Juventus’ reaction to one of the rare humiliating losses that is what matters most when it comes to the trajectory of the season that remains in front of the squad.
Juventus lost 3-0 just a couple of days ago. That result still makes you cringe no matter what Max Allegri says about it seemingly just being a matter of time until a loss in that kind of fashion actually took place.
Now, we get to see what that initial reaction — no, not the kind that involves caps lock and yelling at people on the internet — actually is.
Parma’s first visit to Turin since that rainy night at Juventus Stadium where Carlos Tevez goal sent Ray Hudson’s emotions into oblivion will see Juventus either continue this string of mediocre to really bad performance or show something that resembles signs of turning things around. The return of Mario Mandzukic, who has been out for a little over a month now, should help. The return of Miralem Pjanic to the starting lineup after two straight games on the bench should help.
But let me count how many healthy center backs Juventus currently has.
So maybe the immediate response to the stumbling and bumbling in Bergamo won’t be part of what you would call a “full-strength squad” or anything close to it.
But, even with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci both injured, Juve’s midfield looking like a hot mess — and then some — lately, the club’s much-acclaimed manager coming under serious heat for his team’s performance in the same game he get sent off and their European possibilities being put into question,
Juventus could drop a five-goal beatdown on Parma on Saturday night. Or, they could grind out a boring 1-0 win with a Mandzukic game-winner in the 78th minute after barely putting anything on goal for the first three-quarters of the match.
This is the situation we find ourselves in.
Aren’y you excited to find out?
When: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 8:30 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe; 7:30 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Perin; Cancelo, Caceres, Rugani, Spinazzola; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Alex Sandro, Emre Can, Bentancur, Dybala, Kean, Bernardeschi
Parma starting XI (4-3-3): Sepe; Iacoponi, Bruno Alves, Bastoni, Gagliolo; Scozzarella, Kucka, Barillà; Gervinho, Inglese, Biabiany
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America, TLN (Canada); FreeSports TV UK (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); FloFC (Canada); BT Sport Live (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.