So many times this season we have seen Juventus put forward a terrible performance, thus causing us to hope they wouldn’t repeat it , only to see them .... repeat it.
The amount of good performances can probably be counted on one hand — which, knowing that it’s the first weekend of November and just a few gams before the World Cup break, is not a very good sign of how things have gone up until this point.
But Juventus, injuries and all, is actually coming off a good performance just a few days ago in a matchup against Paris Saint-Germain that should have meant a whole lot more than it actually did. The question, of course, to come out of the loss yet solid performance against PSG remains an easy one to figure out: Can Max Allegri’s squad actually repeat it the next time out?
Just how Juventus goes about actually trying to do that when they face Inter in Sunday night’s Derby d’Italia is the giant question mark that is still very much waiting to be answered. The catch is that every time we’ve seen Juventus play well — the season opener against Sassuolo, the first half against Roma, a few others (and that’s about it) — the next outing has been pretty much the exact opposite of what we previously saw.
That’s not a trend Allegri can afford to see continue.
Not when you’re a team trying to string wins together and jump back into contention for a spot in the top four.
With three straight wins against domestic opposition, Juventus has been able to do that to a certain extent. Winning three straight games is a very good development for a team that’s going to be battling relegation. But based on what Juve’s season has been like, getting nine points out of their last nine is a nice development even if the overall team performances have not exactly been anything special. (Juventus’ three-game Serie A win streak is currently the third-longest going. The second? Well, that belongs to Inter, which has won four in a row entering Sunday night’s trip to Turin.)
While some will make this out recent run of wins as Allegri starting to turn things around, there is still a very large elephant in the room when it comes to Juve’s under-fire manager: the fact that in big games like this one very much is, his team hasn’t gotten good results.
This isn’t new by now. It’s very much a road we’ve been down before.
But until Allegri actually does get consistent results in big games like the Derby d’Italia, then Juve’s hopes of getting back into the top four anytime soon is going to be held back just that much more. (Heck, the same can be said for Inter right now seeing as they’re sitting in sixth ... two points above Juventus.) We know Serie A is more competitive this season and Juve’s start is something that they are going to be able to avoid with how they’ve played much of the way.
Juventus can either build off the game they just had or revert to what we’ve seen for much of the 2022-23 campaign.
Boy, it sure does seem like we’re saying that a lot lately.
- FEDERICO CHIESA BACK
- Juventus have gotten a bit of a reprieve from the massive injury situation, with Max Allegri announcing after Wednesday’s Champions League group stage finale that Dusan Vlahovic, Angel Di Maria and Bremer will be back in the squad for the Derby d’Italia.
- That being said, Allegri noted that Vlahovic is still not totally back to 100 percent and that the pre-match training session on Sunday morning will be the final determining factor when it comes to the big Serbs availability.
- Out of those three, only Bremer and his giant shoulders has been the consistently tipped to go right back into the starting lineup against Inter.
- That doesn’t mean the injury list still isn’t lengthy: Paul Pogba, Kaio Jorge, Marley Ake, Mattia De Sciglio, Leandro Paredes, Weston McKennie, Samuel Iling-Junior and possibly Moise Kean will all miss Sunday’s Derby d’Italia.
- As a surprise to probably no one, Allegri is not expected to change all that much lineup-wise outside of bringing back Bremer following the team’s performance against PSG midweek.
- Allegri declared the following during his pre-match press conference on Saturday: “We are on a path to become competitive again.” (Does somebody want to tell Max how he’s done in big games since coming back to Juventus or should I?
JUVENTUS PLAYER TO WATCH
Are we staying with the recent theme of the Juventus midfield?
Well, yes, we are! That’s because the last time Juve played, said midfield wasn’t actually all that bad. Quite the contrary, actually. And a lot of that was because of this guy.
This might be a bit of a scorching-hot take, but let’s just go ahead and roll with it, folks: Manuel Locatelli played one of his best games in a Juventus jersey on Wednesday night against Paris Saint-Germain.
There, I said it.
It feels good to write something good about Locatelli again.
It’s been that kind of season for him. (It’s been that kind of season for Juventus, too.)
But the thing about Locatelli’s performance against PSG was just the simple fact that he was doing the things that made him such a good player this time of the year last season. There were loads of positive passes, there was a fluidity about his play and a lot of things done right on the defensive end, too.
Juventus’ midfield needed that kind of Locatelli. They will continue to need that kind of Locatelli if they want any shot of beating Inter and getting back into the top four come the restart after the World Cup.
Locatelli surely needed that kind of performance, too. Like any player, confidence can be one hell of a thing. And it looks like Locatelli has some confidence flowing again — which, combined with Nicolo Fagioli’s emergence and youthful energy, makes Juve’s midfield look not as much of a dire situation as it did a few weeks ago.
When: Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022.
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe, 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 2:45 p.m. Eastern time, 11:45 a.m. Pacific time. (Please note that the fall time change that went into effect in Europe last week has now also reached the United States.)
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom).
Online/Streaming: Paramount+ (United States); fuboTV Canada (Canada); BT Sport app, BTSport.com (United Kingdom); DAZN, 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.