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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Parma

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Say hello to the second half of the 2019-20 season, my friends.

Wojciech Szczesny of Juventus FC in action during the... Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

When Juventus takes the field tonight against Parma, the squad will have already known the result of their closest competition. Inter have already played its regularly-scheduled game against Lecce, which is obviously a fixture that will have Antonio Conte’s side heavily favored. So even if Inter were to draw, get all three points or, hell, even lose, it might as well be considered impossible for Juventus’ players not to know about it.

So, basically, the situation for Juventus will be one of two possible scenarios when kickoff against Parma officially arrives in Turin:

  1. A chance to maintain the two-point lead over Inter that Juve entered the weekend with, or ...
  2. The chance to extend the two-point lead over Inter that Juve entered the weekend with.

I guess you could that there’s a third option to all of this that involves Juventus dropping points after an Inter — yes, I wrote this the night before and that’s what it’s phrased this way — but I don’t really feel like thinking about it right now. Positive vibes only.

It’s very simple isn’t it?

Simple when you think of it.

Hopefully it’s the same way when the game actually takes place.

Things were far from a piece of cake when Juventus and Parma kicked things off back in August. But that was five months ago and things are far from what they were then compared to what they are now.Back then, Juve had five healthy central defenders. Right now, Juventus has almost as many central defenders with major ACL injuries as they do healthy bodies to play in the center of defense. That’s far from ideal, but it’s simply the cards that Maurizio Sarri has suddenly been dealt.

Same goes with the fact that Inter — as well as the still-scorching hot and in-form Lazio — haven’t showed many signs of slowing down, if any at all, over the last couple of months.

So maybe this will turn out to be a day where Juventus’ two-point lead entering the weekend becomes a bigger number by the time the final whistle sounds at Allianz Stadium tonight. Or maybe Juventus’ newest big-money signing actually proves to be the guy who leads Parma to a result in Turin and prevents that two-point lead from getting any bigger.

But, as we begin the second half of the season tonight, there’s certainly plenty to pay attention to — and (hopefully) plenty we’ve already seen happen during the course of the last few hours.

MATCH INFO

When: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, 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; Rabiot, Pjanic, Matuidi; Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Rugani, Coccolo, Emre Can, Douglas Costa, Pjaca, Higuain, Bernardeschi

Parma starting XI (4-3-3): Sepe; Darmian, Iacoponi, Bruno Alves, Gagliolo; Scozzarella, Hernani, Kurtic; Kucka, Inglese, Kulusevski

Parma bench: Colombi, Alastra, Dermaku, Cornelius, Brugman, Laurini, Barillà, Siligardi, Sprocati, Pezzella

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.