The Andrea Pirlo era at Juventus is officially half-a-season old. Well, maybe not technically since Juve have more league games remaining than they have played, but the second half of the schedule is officially upon no matter when the first game against Napoli actually happens. But, no matter how you think of it, the ritorna is upon us, and the first team that Pirlo started his managerial career against is back on the schedule.
And, as the 2020-21 campaign has gone on, Sampdoria has proven to be less of a pushover as we thought they were in the days following the impressive season-opening win at Allianz Stadium back in September. The “Yeah, but it’s only Sampdoria ...” lines that we heard in the first few days after Juve’s first win of the season might not be so applicable now.
This time around, Juventus make their second trip to the Luigi Ferraris in the span of about six weeks tonight to face the suddenly not-so-bad Sampdoria side that enters the weekend sitting in a very comfortable 10th place position. They’re all of four points behind Sassuolo, a team that had spent a whole lot of time in the top third of the table before their recent struggles have seen them take quite a tumble down into the middle of the pack.
For Juventus, replicating what we saw on the first night of the Pirlo era would be great.
But so would winning to, at worst, guarantee that they keep pace with the rest of the top teams in Serie A. All the big clubs are playing at some point today, with Juventus’ fixture sandwiched in between the two Milan clubs. So, Juve will take the field knowing how the league leaders did against Bologna earlier in the day already.
Not that Milan’s result will be the only motivating factor, but it could be a little added juice against a Sampdoria team that enters tonight’s game with wins in its last two outings.
So, we’ll see how this goes. And hopefully it’s as nice of a win as the last time Juventus played Sampdoria. That would be a good way to start the weekend.
When: Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021
Where: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 p.m. Eastern Time; 9 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (3-5-2/4-4-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini, Danilo; Chiesa, Arthur, Bentancur, McKennie; Morata, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, de Ligt, Alex Sandro, Demiral, Dragusin, Frabotta, Ramsey, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Fagioli
Sampdoria starting XI (4-4-2): Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Ekdal, Silva; Keita Balde, Quagliarella
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Sport 251 (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.