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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Lazio

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One final game before we all eagerly await the COVID-19 tests in two weeks.

Spezia Calcio v Juventus - Serie A Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

If anything, we can say that Juventus is already ahead of the game when it comes to comparing the final fixture before this upcoming international break to the last one. That is, you know, Juventus will actually play this game before the next international break even though their opponent is dealing with a handful of COVID-19 cases as compared to the last one.

Just like when Juventus were supposed to face Napoli a little over a month ago, today’s opposition won’t be close to full strength due to recent positive coronavirus tests. Lazio have had quite an interesting couple of weeks on the COVID-19 front, with the latest being more than just a couple of players being ruled out. (Just go ahead and Google “Claudio Lotito coronavirus” if you haven’t already. It’s an adventure that will leave you shaking your head both in amazement and sheer hilarity of it all.)

What was looked as the showdown between two Scudetto contenders about 11 months ago is now a team trying to get back on track and the defending Italian champions still trying to fully establish its new identity under its brand new coach. Juventus has won its last two games and has looked rather OK while doing it. What’s in store for this lunchtime kickoff in Italy? Well, that’s a big uncertainty seeing as what the current opposition is dealing with.

But, for Juventus, the chance to go into the international break in second place is going to be dangled in front of them like a big ol’ carrot over the course of the next couple of hours.

Whether they can get there remains to be seen.

If it does happen, though, and Juventus are able to jump over Sassuolo and into second place before sitting down for Sunday night dinner, then there’s quite the situational improvement based on where things were just a few weeks ago. Remember, it wasn’t so long when Juve were dropping points left and right and failing to do what we’ve become so accustomed to seeing them do over the last decade (and prior to that) — win.

A win gets them into second place — and that is something Andrea Pirlo will probably be at least the smallest bit OK with. (Don’t go thinking he will be impressed. This is Pirlo after all.)

MATCH INFO

When: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020

Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

Official kickoff time: 12:30 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 11:30 a.m. in the United Kingdom; 6:30 a.m. Eastern Time; 3:30 a.m. Pacific Time

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (3-4-1-2): Szczesny; Demiral, Bonucci, Danilo; Cuadrado, Rabiot, Bentancur, Frabotta; Kulusevski; Morata, Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Arthur, Dybala, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Dragusin, Portanova

Lazio starting XI (3-5-2): Reina; Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Radu; Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Luis Alberto, Fares; Muriqi, Correa

Lazio bench: Furlanetto, Alia, Patric, Pereira, D. Anderson, Armini, Hoedt, Parolo, Caicedo, Lazzari, Moro, Akpa Akpro

HOW TO WATCH

Television: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (United States); TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom)

Online/mobile: ESPN+, WatchESPN (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); DAZN, DAZN1 (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.