Maurizio Sarri’s pre-match press conference included quite some interesting terms. It involved him talking about Roma simply because that’s who his team will be playing this weekend, but it also had Juventus’ first-year manager telling us a little something about turning another year older — in this case, celebrating his 61st birthday earlier in the week.
I’m guessing that reverting back to the kind of performance that we saw back in the month of November and early December — or, better yet, how Juventus played the last time they took a trip to Rome or faced a team based in the Italian capital — is going to make the Mister grumpy as well.
Juventus will look to build on what was quite the impressive start to 2020 this past Monday. With it comes the chance to take the outright lead in Serie A thanks to Atalanta and Inter Milan playing to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro 24 hours earlier on Saturday night. And that’s on top of the fact that, even with their loss to Torino coming out of the holiday break, Roma is playing pretty well this season under their own first-year manager in Paulo Fonseca.
So, basically, we have this:
- A Juventus team looking to build off one of its best performances of the season, and easily its best showing in weeks, if not months.
- A Roma team looking to get back on track and maintain its spot in fourth place in the Serie A standing after Atalanta pulled level on points 24 hours earlier.
As the midway point of the season officially arrives today, the line of thinking is that things start to get better around this point in time with Sarri in charge. He may be grumpy because it was his birthday on Friday, but another very good performance like what we saw this past Monday against Cagliari will likely put a good smile on his way. (As well as all of ours.)
Basically, if there’s more of what we saw against Cagliari rather than what we saw from Juventus the last time they played at the Stadio Olimpico a little over a month ago, then things will likely go pretty well. At least I hope I do. I think you hope so, too.
So, yeah. Let’s hope this visit to Rome is a lot better than the last one. It can’t really be much worse, so there’s that — and there’s nowhere to go but up from there.
When: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020
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
Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Demiral, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Rabiot, Pjanic, Matuidi; Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, De Ligt, Rugani, De Sciglio, Danilo, Emre Can, Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa, Higuain, Pjaca
Roma starting XI (4-2-3-1): Pau Lopez; Florenzi, Smalling, Mancini, Kolarov; Diawara, Veretout; Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Perotti; Dzeko
Roma bench: Fuzato, Mirante, Juan Jesus, Bruno Peres, Spinazzola, Cetin, Cristante, Under, Kalinic
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia North America (United States); RAI Italia North America, TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player 1 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.