The headline on the front page of Tuttosport pretty much said it all earlier in the day.
“UNA NOTTE CHAMPIONS”
Those are three very simple words. And no matter what Max Allegri has previously said during his pre-match press conference on Saturday, Juventus’ trip to Bergamo is very, very important in terms of his team’s chances of making the Champions League next season.
Juventus, fresh off a win last weekend in which it allowed them top jump into the top four for more than few hours, faces the team that they leapfrogged up into fourth place in Atalanta. It is fourth place facing fifth place at the stadium that fifth place calls home, with two points separating the two of them as we head into tonight’s very important matchup in Bergamo.
We know Atalanta has a game in hand and can very well get out of this mini rut they find themselves in at any point. Therefore, the final head-to-head matchup between these has taken on the importance any other big-time matchup we have seen this season.
We know Juventus needs the points.
We know that Atalanta needs the points just as badly.
What happens next is anybody’s guess.
Juventus has gotten two wins to begin the Dusan Vlahovic era, one that the club obviously hopes involves plenty of Champions League football in its future. But to get to that point, Juve needs to finish in the top four and ensure that said European adventure is possible.
Getting three points — or, hell, even a draw at a tough place to play — against Atalanta tonight would go a long way in potentially making that happen. This is Juve’s last direct chance to help make that happen. There would be no need to rely on others for help. Instead, heading back to Turin still in fourth place and with a nice distance between themselves and Atalanta would be quite the good capper to Vlahovic’s first weeks worth of games in Bianconero.
Now, they just gotta go out and do it.
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.
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, de Ligt, De Sciglio; McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot; Dybala, Vlahovic, Morata.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Arthur, Cuadrado, Alex Sandro, Pellegrini, Kean, Kaio Jorge, Rugani, Zakaria, Aké.
Atalanta starting XI (3-4-1-2): Sportiello; Toloi, Demiral, Djimsiti; Hateboer, De Roon, Freuler, Zappacosta; Koopmeiners; Muriel, Boga.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada); 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.