If there was a regular-looking schedule and this was a “normal” kind of season without a global pandemic going on, the stretch Juventus is entering would have likely been broken up by an international break. Instead, this is the first of three weeks straight with crucial match after crucial match, the final step of which will see first place against second place with so much on the line.
There are 15 huge points up for grabs over the course of the next three weeks, with the biggest of all big games this season coming on July 20 against Lazio in Turin.
But first, Juve has another big game on their home field.
It’s not against another title contender or anybody close to it really. Tonight’s Derby della Mole is first place against a Torino side very, very far away from first place. Torino’s main goal for the rest of the season is to not get relegated ... and that’s pretty much it. Juventus, on the other hand, is in a full-on Scudetto race with Lazio, which just so happens to be playing after the current Serie A leaders this day. That means, as you can probably figure out, Juventus could very well have a seven-point lead by the end of the night if everything goes right.
To have everything go right, though, Juve will first have to take care of business against their cross-town little brother that has lost 16 of its last 19 matches against the Bianconeri.
Sarri: "The team are capable of playing good football, whilst there's individuals who can decide a game at any moment and we can rightly rely on those factors. However, the derby is particular game that doesn't follow trends, they will be very motivated."#JuveToro #ForzaJuve— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 3, 2020
A team that is “capable of playing good football” and “individuals who can decide a game at any moment” is something that we saw a lot of in tandem the last time Juventus took the field. If there should be more of that, then there’s a reason to keep some optimism flowing.
Even though we know that derbies — especially this one — isn’t always the prettiest or exactly what you would describe as one that comes with a lot of style points, it would be quite nice if the Juve we saw against Genoa is the same one we see against Torino. That would be a sign of progress, and would keep this train right on a-rollin’ into this incredibly important three-week stretch of games.
Or maybe it’s just another Juve win over Torino. We’ve seen plenty of those, too.
When: Saturday, July 4, 2020
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 5:15 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 4:15 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time; 8:15 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Wesley, Ramsey, Matuidi, Muratore, Douglas Costa, Higuain, Olivieri
Torino starting XI (4-4-2): Sirigu; De Silvestri, Izzo, Lyanco, Bremer; Aina, Meite, Lukic, Berenguer; Verdi, Belotti
Torino bench: Ujkani, Rosati, Zaza, Ansaldi, Singo, Edera, Millico, Ghazoini, Djidji, Nkoulou, Adopo, Rincon
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia North America (United States), TLN, RAI Italia North America (Canada); Premier Sports 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player 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.