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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Atalanta

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Big game is here, and now we hope Juventus rises to the occasion.

Alvaro Morata of Juventus FC gestures during the UEFA... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

There are three games left in the 10-game, 30-day stretch that had us all a little worried about how things were going to go when it started late last month. Maybe the feelings are little better now seeing as Juve has actually put together three wins on the bounce in all competitions and have looked fairly competent while doing so.

Now we get to see what they can do against The Little Engine That Could from Bergamo.

Juventus will play arguably their most important league match of the season to date tonight when Atalanta comes to Allianz Stadium for a showdown of two of the best teams in Serie A who aren’t sitting where they want to in the standings. Juventus sits in fourth, Atalanta in eighth, and the fact that both of them can’t afford to drop many more points even though nobody is really running away with things as the midway point of the 2020-21 season quickly arrives doesn’t mean this game is suddenly less important. These are three important points at stake, as well as it’s a match where the recent improvements we’ve seen from Andrea Pirlo’s squad are very much going to be put to the test.

We’ve seen teams pack things in against Juventus.

Atalanta isn’t going to do anything close to that.

Juve’s midfield and defense — the latter which has been rotated very little over the last couple of weeks — will be put under pressure probably more times than they were in the Turin derby and over the weekend against Genoa ... combined. We know what Atalanta wants to do, and it’s just a matter of how Juventus copes with it is what’s going to determine just what kind of result they come out with.

We’re almost at the end of this brutal string of games where it feels like Juve only have a few days off from the first game to the last. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll get some of their consistent groove back by the time their mini-break arrives before Christmas.

MATCH INFO

When: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy

Official kickoff time: 6:30 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5:30 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time; 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (3-5-2): Szczesny; de Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo; Cuadrado, McKennie, Bentancur, Arthur, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Buffon, Ramsey, Alex Sandro, Dybala, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Da Graca, Dragusin, Frabotta, Portanova, Kulusevski

Atalanta starting XI (3-4-2-1): Gollini; Palomino, Romero, Djimsiti; Hateboer, Freuler, De Roon, Gosens; Malinovskyi, Pessina; Zapata

Atalanta bench: Rossi, Sportiello, Sutalo, Lammers, Muriel, Gomez, Mojica, Depaoli, Gyabuaa, Miranchuk, Diallo

HOW TO WATCH

Television: TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Sport 251, NOW TV (Italy)

Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); Sky GO Italia (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.