The first busy part of the 2019-20 season is in full swing. The games are coming fast and, even with Champions League football having the week off, there’s still some midweek ball to be played for our beloved bianconero-clad friends from Turin.
It just so happens to be taking place at a stadium where Juventus hasn’t played in over a decade, too.
After spending plenty of time in the second division of Italian football, Brescia is back in Italy’s top flight. And on this Tuesday night in late September, it just so happens that the Italian champions of the past eight seasons are coming to town and looking to pick up three points at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti.
The stadium that is one of the smallest in Serie A this season won’t just be fired up for the defending champions coming to town in what has been a bright start to the season for the newly-promoted side. But it’s also expected to be the return of their hometown son, Mario Balotelli, who arrived over the summer on a free transfer from Marseille.
Seems like the recipe for some interesting things to happen, doesn’t it?
Well, hopefully for the visiting that is.
The rumors earlier in the day suggested that, because Cristiano Ronaldo has not been called up for the trip to Brescia, is that Maurizio Sarri will be tinkering his formation to accommodate the absence of his star winger. Does a Ronaldo-less night in Brescia mean that Juve’s first-year manager will switch to a 4-3-1-2 formation? Or will he stay with a 4-3-3 and continue to ride the hot hand of the likes of Juan Cuadrado while somebody like Federico Bernardeschi tries to get back into good form? The way things are looking, it’s what’s behind Door No. 1 with a 4-3-1-2 and Aaron Ramsey playing a more advanced role in front of the same midfield three we’ve seen for much of the season to date.
The only way we’ll know for sure is to wait until there’s less than an hour before kickoff and the starting lineups are finally released.
That’s what the fun begins.
Or is that when Balotelli actually takes the field right before the Serie A anthem sounds?
When: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019
Where: Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Brescia, Italy
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 8 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 3 p.m. Eastern Time; High Noon Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Rabiot; Ramsey; Higuain, Dybala
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Matuidi, Cuadrado, Emre Can, Rugani, Demiral, Bentancur, Bernardeschi
Brescia starting XI (4-3-1-2): Joronen; Sabelli, Cistana, Chancellor, Mateju; Bisoli, Tonali, Dessena; Romulo; Balotelli, A. Donnarumma
Brescia bench: Alfonso, Gastaldello, Spalek, Zmrhal, Aye, Matri, Morossini, Martella
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); DAZN1 (Italy)
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.