Just like that, Juventus finds itself not in a fight for Europe but in one to even get close to being a part of the group of Italian teams that represents Serie A on the continental stage.
That wasn’t the case two days ago.
But it very much is now.
As Juventus gets set to face Atalanta tonight at the Allianz Stadium, the concentration is as much about what’s gone on off the field as what is about to happen on it. The 15-point penalty that has been suddenly been thrust on Juventus isn’t what anybody expected even before Friday’s appeal by the FIGC was heard. Not even close. But it’s now something that Juventus coaches, players and the brand new board of directors must deal with — especially these upcoming weeks before the late-February appeal is heard. (And it’s not like we can be overly optimistic about things based on how the last few days have played out.)
If you thought Juventus needed points last week, the situation is even more dire now.
Instead of talking about a team that is in third place and in direct running for a Champions League place, he we are suddenly looking at Juve as a mid-table team that will need to stack wins on top of one another if they want any shot at Europe. (Excluding some sort of late-season Europa League run, of course.)
These are the cards that Juve has suddenly been dealt. This is now what Juventus must deal with no matter how much we dislike it. Juve’s entering this game not in third place but on 22 points alongside a couple of clubs we never expected them to be level with at this point in the season.
Here’s to hoping this is the latest thing that might light a fire in Juve’s season.
When: Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023.
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.
Juventus starting XI (3-5-1-1): Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Alex Sandro; McKennie, Locatelli, Fagioli, Rabiot, Kostic; Di Maria; Milik.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Gatti, Rugani, Cuadrado, Miretti, Paredes, Chiesa, Kean, Soulé, Iling-Junior.
Atalanta starting XI (3-5-2): Musso; Toloi, Palomino, Scalvini; Hateboer, De Roon, Ederson, Maehle; Boga; Lookman, Hojlund.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: CBS Sports Network (United States); TLN (Canada); BT Sport 1, BT Sport Ultimate (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.