On the first day of February, Dusan Vlahovic sat in front of the Italian media for the first time as a Juventus player. It was the official unveiling of Juventus’ newest cornerstone player, and the day in which the tide hopefully started to turn for a club that has been outside of the top four in Serie A for pretty much all of the 2021-22 season.
On this day, five days later, Vlahovic’s Juventus career officially starts.
This is Dusan Day. The first of many.
After two weeks of waiting for Juventus to play again, we get the added element of two potential — and, at this point, rather likely — debuts for both of the winter transfer window’s big arrivals. Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria, the two names that our collective hopes and dreams are pinned to when it comes to turning this season around and into a top four finish, are set to make the first appearance since arrival in the final days of the January window when Juventus faces Hellas Verona tonight. They are two players who arrived for two very different kinds of transfer fees — one pretty cheap, the other pretty much the exact opposite of cheap — but they are a pair of players that this Juve squad was crying out for.
They are upgrades over what was already here, and they are players that Max Allegri can certainly build around going forward into 2022, 2023 and beyond.
But before looking toward the future, we must take care of the present task at hand. And no matter what Atalanta has done earlier in the day today, Juventus can’t afford to have a second slip-up against a Hellas Verona side that is, surprisingly, one of the better attacking teams in the league this season.
Juventus will have the home crowd fired up because the seating capacity is back to 50 percent. The home crowd will be fired up because of who will be making their debut(s) this weekend. And they will be fired up because there’s a new sense of optimism surrounding the club that might not have been here a couple of months ago.
That’s a change for the better on paper. Now it’s time to show it on the field.
When: Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.
When: Allianz Stadium, Turin, 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, De Ligt, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Zakaria, Arthur, Rabiot; Dybala, Vlahovic, Morata.
Juventus bench: Perin, Pinsoglio, Cuadrado, Pellegrini, Bonucci, Rugani, McKennie, Kean, Kaio Jorge, Aké.
Hellas Verona starting XI (3-4-2-1): Montipò; Casale, Gunter, Ceccherini; Depaoli, Ilic, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Tameze; Lasagna.
Hellas Verona bench: Chiesa, Berardi, Kalinic, Cancellieri, Bessa, Sutalo, Coppola, Retsos, Praszelik.
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.