Eight days ago, Juventus took the Allianz Stadium for its final home match of November. The end result was nothing to truly boast about, with a 1-0 loss to Atalanta sending Juve further away from cracking top four in the Serie A table and making the job of qualifying for the Champions League just that much harder come the second half of the season.
Now, eight days later, the job isn’t that much easier.
Sure, the opposition tonight is one of the statistically worst teams in Serie A rather than one of the best and most explosive sides in Italy’s top flight. Genoa, currently in the relegation zone just like Juve’s midweek opponent over in Salerno, are far from the kind of opposition that Atalanta is. But, the thing is, it all comes back to Atalanta seeing as La Dea won an absolutely wild one Saturday night against Napoli and extended the gap between Juventus (and Fiorentina before Sunday’s lunchtime kickoff) to 10 points even before the midway point of the season arrives later this month.
Even if Atalanta didn’t record a comeback win over Napoli 24 hours earlier, this would still be a must-win situation for Max Allegri and Co. That’s just how it works these days, folks. If they want any shot at the top four, the results — especially the three points that come with wins — will have to follow suit and happen on a regular basis.
And by “regular basis,” it’s pretty much win every single game possible and hope that those in front of Juventus — namely Atalanta — slip up a few times along the way.
So now with Genoa, Juventus’ margin for error is an absolute zero. The goal is to get the difference between themselves and Atalanta back to seven points and continue to take advantage of this soft spot in the schedule before things get crazy again come the start of the new year.
Maybe the return of the 4-2-3-1 results in another win. That would be nice — especially when you consider that Juve needs win after win after win after win after win to try and get back in serious contention for a spot in the top four.
When: Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.
Where: 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 (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Chiellini, Pellegrini; Locatelli, Bentancur; Kulusevski, Dybala, Bernardeschi; Morata.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Raina, Alex Sandro, Bonucci, Rugani, De Winter, Arthur, Rabiot, Kean, Kaio Jorge, Soulé.
Genoa starting XI (3-5-2): Sirigu; Biraschi, Bani, Vasquez; Ghiglione, Hernani, Behrami, Toure, Cambiaso; Ekuban, Bianchi.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom).
Online/mobile: Paramount+ (United States); BTSport.com, BT Sport App (United Kingdom); DAZN (Italy).
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