We have officially reached the final game of 2021.
For many, that is a good day based on what this Juventus team has done over the last 12 months. It hasn’t been great by any means, and the 2021-22 season is very much representative of that. The ups have been limited while the downs have been quite frequent because that’s just what happens when you’re a club like Juventus currently is.
For others, the fact that there’s going to be no calcio in Serie A to watch for the next couple of weeks after the 19th round of games is concluded Wednesday isn’t exactly the best of things no matter how good or bad Juve’s form may currently be.
So now as Juventus hits the final game of the calendar year as well as the first half of the season, there’s one last task to try and get out of the way without averting any sort of something would be considered a disaster. Juventus welcomes Cagliari to the Allianz Stadium tonight, with the visitors sitting all of two points out of the bottom spot in the Serie A table.
To say the least, Juventus — which enters the day in a three-team jumble with Roma and Fiorentina on 31 points — can’t afford to go into the holiday break with any sort of let up or repeat of what we saw against Venezia two weekends ago when they dropped points against the worst team in the league. It’s a must-win game in a must-win situation — Juventus needs points in the worst possible way, and anything less than three points going into the holiday break is going to be looked at as a complete failure on the part of Max Allegri and the entire squad.
Maybe this turns out to be the game that we hoped the trip to Venice was — a drama-free night against one of the statistically worst teams in the league. Maybe it looks like so many of the other matchups against the bottom of the table in recent years — an absolute slog where Juve try to grind out a win. Either way, there’s one last game for 2021, and that’s pretty much the only certainty heading into this night.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.
When: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time.
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Arthur, Rabiot; Bernardeschi, Morata, Kean.
Juventus bench: Perin, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Pellegrini, Rugani, De Winter, McKennie, Locatelli, Kulusevski, Kaio Jorge, Soulé.
Cagliari starting XI (4-4-1-1): Cragno; Zappa, Ceppitelli, Carboni, Lykogiannis; Bellanova, Deiola, Grassi, Dalbert; Pereiro; Joao Pedro.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom).
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