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Juventus vs. Atalanta match preview: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch the Serie A

In a 2022 full of big fixtures, this might be one of the biggest yet as Juve head to Bergamo this weekend.

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Matthijs de Ligt (R) of Juventus FC is challenged by Matteo... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

For months now, there has been one singular domestic target that we’ve been wanting Juventus to try and achieve. It has, unfortunately, nothing to do with winning the Scudetto and potentially starting a new title-winning streak in Serie A after a year of watching the black and blue side of Milan celebrate. Instead, it has involved simply getting into the top four in Serie A, the kind of placement that has Champions League football attached to it.

After months of watching Juventus both throw away points and also slowly climb up the table after the Bianconeri’s horrific start to Max Allegri’s return season, last weekend we saw something we hadn’t seen yet before since the final game of the Andrea Pirlo era:

Juve sitting in fourth place.

Almost in a poetic and ironic kind of way, Juve’s next Serie A fixture just so happens to be against the team they just jumped over in the league table. Juventus, with its flashy new signing up front and some newfound optimism about how the rest of the season may go, have made the trip over to Bergamo to face an Atalanta side that is suddenly up against it both in terms of the results in recent fixtures as well as the fact that two of its most important players won’t be available for Sunday night’s showdown at the Gewiss Arena.

Juventus leads Atalanta — which still has a game in hand — by two points after last weekend’s madness that started with the latter losing in shocking fashion to Cagliari and the former then beating Hellas Verona with goals from both of its January signings.

But now the task is easy to figure out: extend that lead over Atalanta.

Of course, Juventus and Atalanta both enter this big-time matchup on short rest after each playing Coppa Italia quarterfinal ties on Thursday night. But because of what happened even before Juventus took the field at the Allianz Stadium to face Sassuolo, it won’t mean Juve and Atalanta play each other another two times before the 2021-22 season comes to a close.

So, to say it’s been a tough week or so for Atalanta would probably be an understatement. Not only did they lose to Cagliari and then see Juve jump over them into fourth place before being dumped out of the Coppa Italia by Fiorentina, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side got the bad news that star striker Duvan Zapata could be out for three months due to injury. Another key piece to Atalanta’s puzzle, goalkeeper Juan Musso, is suspended after being shown red in the loss to Cagliari last weekend.

What I’m trying to say that if there ever appears to be a time in which Atalanta looks to be not as high-flying as they usually are, then it could very well be now.

That’s always easier said than done and for all we know Atalanta has shown that it is always capable of exploding for four goals just when you start to count them out even in the slightest.

But for Juventus, and even though Allegri has slightly played down the importance of this one even though we all know what’s on the line, it’s rather imperative to keep the momentum going and take advantage of Atalanta being a little wobbly as we hit the middle of February. There might not be a better chance to get Atalanta than right now, with Zapata and Musso out and the team suddenly struggling to do much right.

Juventus, with its new signings in tow, arrive to Bergamo looking to, at bare minimum, keep things status quo and head back to Turin still in fourth place. But if they were to win and take a five-point advantage over their direct rival for a fourth-place finish, that’s a pretty good spot to find yourself in as the stretch run of the 2021-22 season quickly approaches.

TEAM NEWS

  • Federico Bernardeschi, who was previously expected to return to training after Juve’s game against Sassuolo in the Coppa Italia, is still out due to muscle fatigue. That means Max Allegri, whether he likes it or not, still has just one winger (Juan Cuadrado) available to him.
  • Giorgio Chiellini is the only other short-term absence Juventus currently has.
  • Here is the full squad list for Juventus’ trip to Bergamo this weekend:
  • Allegri’s pre-match press conference was on the shorter side Saturday, which meant there weren’t a whole lot of squad updates included. Max gonna Max before a big game, right? (Then again, when pretty much everybody outside of the two Fedes and Chiellini are available,
  • Romeo Agresti of Goal Italia reported shortly after Allegri’s press conference that the Juventus manager did try out the same attacking trident of Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata and Dusan Vlahovic during training on Saturday.
  • Juve have lost two of their last three trips to Bergamo, including a 1-0 loss to Atalanta last April on Ruslan Malinovskyi’s 87th-minute goal.

JUVENTUS PLAYER TO WATCH

Over the past couple of weeks, Juventus has signed the best young No. 9 in the game not named Erling Haaland. Paulo Dybala, the club’s No. 10, has been really good since Juve returned from the international break. And, then there’s the third member of the attacking trio that Allegri rolled out in the fog last weekend.

Could this be the start of something good for Alvaro Morata?

Juventus v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images

That is very much the hope as Juve’s No. 9 occupies more of a No. 7 position while Juve’s new No. 7 has, as you might have expected after the club paid all that money to Fiorentina, become the new man in the No. 9 position.

Got all that?

The early returns on Morata playing a supporting, more seconda punta kind of role have been very, very encouraging. Before Vlahovic’s arrival, Juve’s attack was just not all that dangerous, and Morata himself was not playing well at all. But since Vlahovic’s record signing, Morata being Robin to the Serbian Batman has definitely been the kind of thing that has gotten the Spaniard going.

And if you think about it, it’s the kind of role that suits Morata pretty well.

He will never be the outright goal scoring machine as a prima punta like Vlahovic has been for the better part of the last 18 months. Instead, this is the kind of role that fits his best attributes. Morata is able to set things up for Vlahovic (and Dybala), while still being a contributor and have his share of the pie in the attack. He very much seems like the kind of player who has gotten a whole shot of confidence and it is starting to pay dividends.

With Atalanta’s ability to score — yes, even without Duvan in the starting lineup — you get the feeling that Juve’s going to need at least a couple of goals to come away with all three points. Obviously adding Vlahovic has changed the dynamic of Juve’s attack, but Morata is showing that he can quickly adapt to this new role and could end up being a key component for this team after a frustrating run through much of the 2021-22 season.

MATCH INFO

When: Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022.

When: Gewiss Stadium, Bergamo, 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.

HOW TO WATCH

Television: TLN (Canada); BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom).

Online/mobile: Paramount+ (United States); fuboTV (Canada); 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.