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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Lazio

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Big game on a Monday night in Turin, folks.

Juventus v Atalanta BC - Serie A

Over the course of the past three games, Juventus has left a lot to be desired. There have been dropped points. Lots of dropped points. So many dropped points that one might think the lead that they had built up as a result of a couple of very good wins over Genoa and Torino would have been pretty much wiped out and gone for good.

Not quite.

As Juventus’ form dropped substantially from one week to the next, the Serie A lead didn’t suffer. In fact, as the heat has been turned up on Maurizio Sarri, Juventus has actually seen its lead pretty much stay right where it was before their first-year manager watched his team blow a 2-0 lead to AC Milan at the San Siro. That’s because the pack right behind Juve not named Atalanta — Inter Milan and Lazio — has struggled to pick up points on a consistent basis.

And it just so happens that one of those teams, the one that was all of one point behind Juventus at the time games being suspended in March, is in Turin tonight.

Juventus, a team that has dropped seven points in the last three games, could very much put the Scudetto race to bed with a win over Lazio at Allianz Stadium tonight. It is that Lazio side that hasn’t won in their last four times out, and have seen their dreams of winning this season’s title pretty much disappear following the Serie A restart. Prior to that, Simone Inzaghi’s squad was one of the best teams going in Italy, including a pair of convincing 3-1 wins over Juventus before the turn of the calendar within the span of a week and a half.

Since mid-June, though, it’s been the complete opposite.

That’s what has allowed Juventus to extend the Serie A lead despite the fact they’ve been far from impressive since the restart got going. It’s what has allowed the likes of Atalanta and Inter Milan make the race to finish in second to become much more interesting than the race for the actual title.

This wasn’t supposed to be the case. Lazio, the way they were going, were supposed to be the latest team to try and derail the Juventus train. But even with a Lazio win tonight, it’s not like the title race will be completely back on.

As you can probably guess, we prefer the title race to basically be over by the time the final whistle sounds tonight. That would be nice, especially since Juve aren’t exactly in the greatest of form these days. The more they mess around, the more things could go wrong.

MATCH INFO

When: Monday, July 20, 2020

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy

Official kickoff time: 9:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 8:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 3:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time

MATCH INFO

Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Ramsey, Bentancur, Rabiot; Douglas Costa, Higuain Dybala, Ronaldo

Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Rugani, Demiral, Wesley, Pjanic, Matuidi, Muratore, Dybala, Olivieri, Zanimacchia

Lazio starting XI (3-5-2): Strakosha; Bastos, Luiz Felipe, Acerbi; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Parolo, D. Anderson; Caicedo, Immobile

Lazio bench: Proto, Guerrieri, Vavro, Armini, A. Anderson, Falbo, Lukaku, Adekanye, Moro

HOW TO WATCH

Television: RAI Italia North America (United States); RAI Italia North America (Canada); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A (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.