I can almost see the possible headlines on certain sports websites now. They will either read one of two things:
- “Ronaldo-less Juve drop points against Atalanta”
- “Minus Ronaldo, Juventus able to beat Atalanta”
Or something like that. You know how it goes when you play without a global superstar — sometimes that attention will be on him even though he’s stayed back home in Turin.
The fact remains we don’t know how Juventus will do without Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup today against Atalanta. The plus side is that Paulo Dybala, a player who hasn’t started a game in three months, will now be back in the starting lineup and playing his first substantial amount of minutes since coming back into the squad a couple of weeks ago. The downside, obviously, is that the top goalscorer in Serie A is currently sitting in front of his television about to watch the same game we are in a matter of minutes.
Just what Juventus can do ... we’ll see.
There haven’t been too many times this season that we’ve been able to say Juventus has carried over the momentum from one week to the next and done well to get even the smallest of winning streaks going. That’s why, as we sit here in the middle of April, that Juve’s longest winning streak in Serie A this season is all of ... three games. No, really. That’s 100 percent the truth, and it’s why so many points have been dropped and we’re currently watching this team fight for a Champions League spot rather than for a 10th straight title.
So now we wait to see if Juventus can make it three straight wins and match a season-high total for most wins in a row. (That still blows my mind that they’ve only won three straight Serie A games and nothing more, but now we know why we’ve gotten here.)
Maybe Juventus, minus Ronaldo, will give Atalanta quite the game. Or maybe Juventus, minus Ronaldo, will look like a team playing without its top goal scorer.
Either way, it’s time to boogie in Bergamo.
When: Sunday, April 18, 2021
Where: Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo, Italy
Official kickoff time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 9 a.m. Eastern Time; 6 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Dybala, Morata
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral, Frabotta, Arthur, Ramsey, Kulusevski, Felix Correia
Atalanta starting XI (3-4-1-2): Gollini; Toloi, Palomino, Djimsiti; Maehle, De Roon, Freuler, Gosens; Pessina; Muriel, Duvan Zapata
Atalanta bench: Rossi, Sportiello, Sutalo, Lammers, Caldara, Malinovskyi, Kovalenko, Ruggeri, Miranchuk, Ilicic, Pasalic
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (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 (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.