It was all of 10 days ago that Juventus was starting like absolute gangbusters against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital, taking a two-goal lead before some spectators even got comfortable in their seats. It didn’t exactly continue to be one way traffic for the next 80 or so minutes, with Juventus doing what Juventus does best — suffering for good chunks of time and then coming away with three points when the final whistle sounds.
This time around, things are a little different.
Ten days ago was the final game in the first half of the Serie A season. This time around it’s the quarterfinals in the Coppa Italia. And unlike 10 days ago when the game was played in Rome, this will be in Turin just like Juventus’ round of 16 game against Udinese was this time last week.
Judging by how that game went, if Roma’s visit to Turin resembles anything close to what happened to Udinese, then there’s going to be some more Coppa Italia on the schedule just as the Champions League knockout rounds start to lurk in the distance.
Is facing a team in different domestic competitions within such a short period of time all that much of an issue? Well, obviously we’re about to find out.
For Juventus, it’s crystal clear what the goal of tonight’s game is: avoid what happened last season — a crushing and rather embarrassing elimination from the Coppa Italia. That was at the hands of an Atalanta squad that went on to the tournament’s final against Lazio. (Yes, the same Lazio that actually did lose a game on Tuesday night against Napoli and was eliminated from this season’s Coppa Italia. It’s hard to believe, I know.)
No matter how much squad rotation there might be. No matter who’s playing left back or who’s going to be up front with an Argentinian forward to be announced an hour before kickoff, No matter what is playing on Cristiano Ronaldo’s iPod Shuffle as he walks down into the dressing room from the team bus. This might be the third-most important thing of Juventus’ three major goals on the season, but there’s still business to take care of tonight.
And it just so happens that Juventus will be trying to do so against a team they played a week and a half ago. That could work out to be a blessing ... or a complete bunch of crap.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 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
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Danilo, Rugani, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, de Ligt, Coccolo, Ramsey, Matuidi, Emre Can, Dybala, Cuadrado, Pjaca, Bernardeschi
Roma starting XI (4-2-3-1): Pau Lopez; Florenzi, Mancini, Smalling, Kolarov; Diawara, Cristante; Under, Pellegrini, Kluivert; Kalinic
Roma bench: Cardinali, Fuzato, Juan Jesus, Cetin, Santon, Fazio, Veretout, Peres, Spinazzola, Estrella
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); RAI Uno (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+, FloFC (United States); FloFC (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); RAI Play (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.