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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Sassuolo

Welcome to the always-tricky trip to the Mapei Stadium, folks.

Denis Zakaria of Juventus FC in action during the Coppa... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

You want a prime example of Juventus having a chance to take advantage of all the results that happened both in front of them and right behind them in the standings while they weren’t even playing, here you go.

Roma — lost to Inter Milan.

Napoli — lost to Empoli.

Now, it’s Juve’s move to try and take advantage.

Of course, this will be attempted at a Mapei Stadium in which Juventus has seen both good times and bad ever since Sassuolo became a regular in Serie A. Maybe this will prove to be one of the good times in which Max Allegri’s squad, one that is still very much shorthanded in every position group because of injuries, is able to extend its advantage over Roma to eight points and Lazio 10 points with a win over Sassuolo and its host of talented players who could make the leap to the big clubs of Italy come the summertime.

This is very much one of those games in which the race for fourth place could be extremely solidified knowing that there’s only four games left after tonight or Juve will leave the door some sort of open for Roma to potentially steal something late with the Bianconeri’s last few fixtures of the season being rather difficult ones.

With how Roma has left this door open for Juventus to put some serious distance between themselves and their closest competition for fourth place, this is the chance to maybe put Jose Mourinho’s squad away for good. An eight-point advantage with four games to play is something that I think all of us would take, and that’s even with Juve still having games against Lazio and Fiorentina to close out the season. (And maybe that’s why it would make us feel pretty good about things since dropped points in those games wouldn’t spell doom.)

But to be able to say that, Juve must take care of business tonight against Sassuolo.

In previous years, that hasn’t exactly been an easy thing to do at the Mapei. Even though it was in Turin, it wasn’t easy to do that when the teams first met earlier this season.

Juventus, with all of these injuries still happening, is very much a squad capable of winning but also throwing out a dud like we saw a couple of weeks ago against Bologna. We would very much not like a repeat of that because Sassuolo has the talent to make Juve pay more than Bologna. But, for now, hopefully a win in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia is the right kind of momentum this team needs to finish the final few weeks of the season on a strong note.

MATCH INFO

When: Monday, April 25, 2022.

Where: Mapei Stadium, Sassuolo, 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.

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Rugani, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bernardeschi, Danilo, Zakaria, Rabiot; Dybala, Morata.

Juventus bench: Perin, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, de Ligt, Pellegrini, Miretti, Zuelli, Vlahovic, Kean.

Sassuolo starting XI (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ayhan, Kyriakopoulos; Maxime Lopez, Frattesi; Berardi, Raspadori, Traoré; Scamacca.

Sassuolo bench: Satalino, Pegolo, Magnanelli, Rogerio, Djuricic, Ciervo, Peluso, Ceide, Ferrari, Tressoldi, Defrel, Henrique.

HOW TO WATCH

Television: BT Sport 1 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport 251, Sky Sport Calcio, Sky Sport 4K (Italy).

Streaming: Paramount+ (United States); BTSport.com, BT Sport app (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.