So, I think it’s safe to say that Juventus’ 2022 didn’t start out on the best of notes.
Or, better yet: Juventus start to 2022 looked a lot like a good portion of 2021.
That’s not how you want things to go when you’re trying to continue to close the gap on Atalanta and the rest of the top four. But, because Juventus seemingly wants to make things about as hard as it can be over the last couple of years, even trying to get more than a point against an extremely shorthanded team like Napoli was quite a task. It was a game Juventus should have won, but obviously didn’t. And now Juve look to do what they didn’t do midweek — actually go out and beat a team that is mired in a whole lot of so-so results.
They must do it without their manager, too.
Ah, 2022 has certainly been an interesting journey thus far _ and we’re only a week into it. After the draw against Napoli, Juventus now make the trip to the Italian capital to face an equally struggling Roma side that has seen its hot start to the 2021-22 season slow down considerably over the last two months. Juventus and Roma are separated by all of three points in the standings, sitting fifth and seventh, respectively. It is not the place that either club wanted to be in at this juncture — especially knowing just how frantic and important this month of big fixtures is going to be.
So as Max Allegri kicks his feet up and gets ready to watch this one back in Turin, Juventus will take the Stadio Olimpico turf knowing that a second straight big game in which they drop points will likely do a lot of damage when it comes to the ground they were able to make up before the Christmas holiday arrived.
Maybe it happens. Maybe it doesn’t.
Either way, we’re bound to get some hot takes from Jose Mourinho after this one no matter what the final score ends up being.
When: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
When: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, 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 (4-2-3-1? 4-3-3? 4-3-2-1?): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Rugani, de Ligt, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Locatelli; McKennie, Dybala, Chiesa; Kean.
Juventus bench: Perin, Senko, Chiellini, Arthur, Morata, Pellegrini, Bernardeschi, Kaio Jorge, Rabiot, Ake, Kulusevski.
Roma starting XI (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Smalling, Cristante, Ibañez; Maitland-Niles, Veretout, Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini, Viña; Felix, Abraham.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom).
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.