Hello, 2021-22 season.
As much as Saturday saw calcio officially come back into our lives, today is the day that Juventus jumps back into the fray, with a familiar face back at the wheel and a cast of characters that may or may not be capable of getting the club back to the top of the Serie A mountain come 37 league fixtures after this one.
Tonight is the start of Max Allegri 2.0, with Juventus at the Dacia Arena to face Udinese. The season opener, one that comes with plenty of hopes attached to Allegri and his likely-to-be-thrown-at-some-point-this-season blazer for the simple reason of what he did the first time he was the manager at this club. One game, especially the first game of the season, won’t be the be-all, end-all of Allegri’s second stint as manager. But it will be, a lot like the last couple of friendlies, a chance to see what Allegri is thinking for this version of his Juventus team.
Of course, there are injuries, resulting in players we might not want to be starting being forced into a starting role.
Manuel Locatelli probably won’t start, which means Juve’s one big summer signing will be starting out his first game as a Juventus player on the bench. (Which is OK, he’s only been here for a couple of days, folks.) For all we know Allegri will play the slow game with Locatelli (and especially Kaio Jorge) over the next couple of weeks.
But if you want a good sign or two, check out this tweet about how Juve’s projected starters in attack — Paulo Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Chiesa — have done against Udinese in the past:
#UdineseJuve | #Dybala contro l'#Udinese s'illumina sempre: è la squadra di #SerieA contro cui vanta il miglior rendimento (8 gol e 6 assist). Segue #CristianoRonaldo con 7 gol. La nuova #Juve di #Allegri riparte da loro due, e da #Chiesa che ha già conquistato Max. #Juventus— Giovanni Albanese (@GiovaAlbanese) August 22, 2021
(UPDATE: That’s not the starting attack!)
So prepare for goals then? I think that would be a great way to start the season! Let’s have some goals, about three points earned and then a nice relaxing trip back to Turin in some of the new clothes that the players have been issued by the newest club sponsor. Good plan for a Sunday, right? Let’s make it happen.
When: Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021
Where: Dacia Arena, Udine, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6:30 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5:30 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time; 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Ramsey, Bernardeschi; Cuadrado, Morata, Dybala
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Sciglio, Chiellini, Pellegrini, Rugani, Chiesa, Locatelli, Ranocchia, Kulusevski, Ronaldo, Kaio Jorge
Udinese starting XI (3-5-1-1): Silvestri; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir; Molina, Arslan, Walace, Makengo, Udogie; Pereyra; Pussetto
Udinese bench: Padelli, Scuffet, Zeegelaar, Okaka, Jajalo, Cristo Gonzalez, Deulofeu, Stryger Larsen, Palumbo, Samardzic, Ianesi, De Maio
HOW TO WATCH
Television: CBS Sports Network (United States); CBS Sports Network, TLN (Canada); BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: Paramount+ (United States); BTSport.com, BT Sport app (United Kingdom); 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.