It’s been quite a number of months since the last time we saw Hellas Verona roll into Turin and play Juventus at Allianz Stadium. That day, a rainy afternoon in the final weekend of May, wasn’t just an ordinary day at Juve’s crown jewel of a stadium. It was the day where we said farewell to Gianluigi Buffon, with an emotional sendoff being the culmination of a week where we watched about two or three million San Gigi highlight videos. (At least I did.)
As it turns out, after a year out of Serie A, Buffon has returned.
Same goes for Hellas Verona.
So I guess it’s only fitting that as Buffon is expected to make his first start of the season after his relatively shocking return to Juventus, it’s that same Hellas Verona club — which obviously looks a lot different following a year in Serie B — that has made its way to Allianz Stadium tonight. Even though there’s been plenty of drama with a section of Juve’s ultras in recent days (and weeks and months), you better believe that Buffon will get quite the reception when he takes the field for the first time his summer return to the club he spent nearly two decades at before spending a season in Paris.
But, there’s also this to pay attention: Besides Buffon, just how much squad rotation will Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri go through with after sharing some not-so-positive thoughts about the matter during his pre-match press conference on Friday.
And there’s also this: Just how Juventus plays after the midweek draw with Atlético Madrid in the Champions League group stage opener where Sarri’s squad squandered a 2-0 lead in the second half four days ago.
Will there be a Champions League hangover?
Will there be any kind of major starting lineup overhaul knowing that Hellas Verona is not a very good team and there’s a string of relegation battlers coming up over the next week?
Will Juventus be able to not concede a goal if Sami Khedira is not on the field?
There’s plenty to pay attention to even though this is the kind of game where, in years past, has usually been a complete grinder where Juve might do just enough to get a result.
Let’s just hope that a new season brings a different kind a result against a team that Juventus should definitely not be scrapping together 1-0 wins against every time the two clubs play one another.
When: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 Noon Eastern Time; 9 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI: Buffon; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral, Alex Sandro; Ramsey, Bentancur, Matuidi; Cuadrado, Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo
Juventus bench Szczesny, Pinsoglio, De Ligt, Pjanic, Khedira, Mandzukic, Higuain, Emre Can, Rugani, Rabiot, Bernardeschi
Hellas Verona starting XI: Silvestri; Rrahmani, Kumbulla, Gunter; Faraoni, Amrabat, Veloso, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Verre; Di Carmine
Hellas Verona bench Berardi, Radunovic, Vitale, Henderson, Pazzini, Danzi, Dawidowicz, Salcedo, Pessina, Empereur, Tutino, Adjapong
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia, NOW TV (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.