We’ve been counting down how many games are left for Juventus to salvage something out of this season for weeks now. From 15 points, down to 12 this past weekend and now all of nine. NINE POINTS! That’s it. That’s all that can get — and it’s not like Juventus, sitting on 69 (nice) points after the 3-0 blowout loss at the hands of AC Milan, are showing all that much potential that they can get much more than their current point total.
But, with three games to go, we’re about to find out.
Juventus’ trip to Sassuolo tonight, the first of two times they will be at the Mapei Stadium over the course of the next week, is now a case of the former nine-time Italian champions needing both to win AND get help from the squads playing the teams in front of them in the standings to try and cut into the deficit that they now face. Andrea Pirlo, looking more and more like a lame duck manager with two weeks to go in the 2020-21 season, and his squad are in fifth place, need help to get back into the top four and are running out of time to actually see that happen.
Plus, you know, this whole schedule not being easy thing.
Juventus’ form has gone into the tank, and unlike last season when they were able to get by thanks to a moment of greatness or two from some of their best players, that just isn’t happening on a consistent basis these days. They look out of ideas, out of energy and just zapped of any kind of serious push to try and ensure they’re in a Champions League spot for next season.
It’s one hell of a way to finish a season that has been a complete rollercoaster full of points dropped and disappointing performances — especially over the course of the last couple of months.
Now they travel to a stadium — albeit it one without fans because the pandemic is still very much a thing and Italy’s seven-day rolling average for new cases is still over NINE THOUSAND — that has been a bugaboo for them over the years ever since Sassuolo was promoted into Serie A. Maybe that changes on this day, one that obviously is a must-win game because they’ve been must-win games for months now. Or maybe Juve just continue to tumble because that’s what their current form seems to suggest.
I don’t know. I’m just ready for all of this to be over — and that seems like something that is the only thing I have in common with these multi-millionaires at the moment.
When: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Where: Mapei Stadium, Sassuolo, 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 (4-4-2): Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Kulusevski, Arthur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Dybala, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Cuadrado, Demiral, Ramsey, McKennie, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Morata, Felix Correia
Sassuolo starting XI (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Toljan, Marlon, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Obiang, Locatelli; Berardi, Traore, Boga; Raspadori
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, RAI Italia North America (United States); RAI Italia North America, TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 2 (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: ESPN+, WatchESPN (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); Sky Go Italia, DAZN (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.