Pre-Match Thoughts on the upcoming, latest “Must-Win” Juventus Episode, by Esteban el Chiapaneco aka Steve

We know who we are (a mixture of good, bad and ugly in this Covid-dominated 2020-21 football season) and we are left with 2 main objectives still to play for. The first is qualification for the 2021-2022 UCL (remember that antiquated and compromised institution?) and the second is the Coppa Italia, our last chance at a new trophy for the J-Museum this go-round.

In what constitutes an unwanted grace note of sorts on our part, a lingering injury will prevent Federico Chiesa from scooting and grinta-ing all over the Artemio Franchi turf while listening to endless colorful expressions of discontent from his former mates and getting tossed to the grass over and over. This news will certainly not bring smiles to the faces of Juventus tifosi, but Paolo Dybala should start up front and (you heard it here first) he will notch at least one score in this match as his form has been improving steadily. I don’t know about you, but I won’t be able to exhale and/or snack comfortably while watching until we are up by 2 goals, a moment that will hopefully present itself relatively early.

You are all doubtless aware of the fact that we haven’t won a single away match in which we’ve given up the initial score, and only W’s will suffice from here on.

Personal wish that will likely not be granted by the bearded sage in the dark blue suit and tie: Buffon in goal. Despite Tek’s competence as a shot-stopper, I’ve come to the conclusion over this campaign that the team somehow plays harder and with more focus when Gigi starts between the sticks. Buffon’s authoritative positioning of himself and his defense, and his exhortations throughout matches seem to animate and calm not just the defenders, but the entire squad.

Finally, if anyone is in need of a positive pre-game message, tune into the legendary Uncle Pat at https://instagram.com/p/CODc8j3nG9w/

Predicted Line-up

Buffon

Juan De Ligt Chiellini Sandro

McKennie Bentancur Rabiot Bernardeschi

Morata Ronaldo