Juventus, again, has an opportunity to get back into the Scudetto race. It’s not a game against the Serie A leaders and the chance to get three points to cut the deficit to a smaller number. Rather, in this game, this wonderful Sunday lunchtime kickoff that is far from at lunchtime for many of us watching, it’s the chance to take advantage of what’s happened the day before.
Inter Milan, in second place, just dropped points on Saturday.
And, as Inter were playing out a scoreless draw (and Antonio Conte was getting sent off) against Udinese, league leaders AC Milan were over at the San Siro getting picked apart by Atalanta. (Yes, the same Atalanta that is now seven points off the lead.)
Those two games, combined with Roma’s wild win over Spezia, made for one hell of a Saturday in Serie A. And when it comes to the first game on this Sunday, Juventus has the chance to do exactly like Atalanta and cut their respective deficit in Serie A to seven points and make the top 6 in Serie A even that much closer than it has been for much of the 2020-21 season.
So, basically, a week after thinking that the 10-point deficit was the thing that started having us thinking more about finishing in the top 4 rather than atop the standings, Andrea Pirlo and Juventus have been thrown a lifeline. It is up to them, coming off the emotional win over Napoli in the Supercoppa earlier in the week, to take full advantage of this chance and cut Milan’s lead over the current champions to seven points.
(And don’t forget, Juve’s got that valuable game in hand.)
The thing is, this season has been such a guessing game that even a must-win game against Bologna isn’t the guarantee it might have been earlier in this Scudetto run. Maybe Juve will play well, maybe they won’t. Do you know for sure? Of course not, because this is 2021 and nothing truly makes sense these days.
All that’s left is to see what happens. And at lunchtime, let’s hope that Juventus ends first half of the season the same kind of way they started the 2020-21 campaign on the same field — with a comfortable win.
When: Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 12:30 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 1:30 a.m. in the United Kingdom; 6:30 a.m. Eastern Time; 3:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (3-5-2/4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Arthur, McKennie, Bernardeschi; Kulusevski, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, de Ligt, Demiral, Di Pardo, Dragusin, Frabotta, Ramsey, Chiesa, Rabiot, Fagioli, Morata
Bologna starting XI (4-2-3-1): Skorupski; De Silvestri, Tomiyasu, Danilo, Dijks; Schouten, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Vignato; Barrow
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (United States); TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 2 (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: ESPN+, ESPN Deportes+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); DAZN, DAZN1, Sky Go Italia (Italy)
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