Chelsea are no longer unbeaten on the season, after losing to Manchester City at home on Saturday. Having to bounce back from that defeat in what is most likely to be our toughest Champions League group stage match isn’t exactly ideal, but bounce back is what we’re going have to try to do.
Adding a bit of narrative pressure is our last visit to Turin nine years ago, also as the defending Champions of Europe, which saw us soundly beaten, 3-0, with the bells tolling for Roberto Di Matteo.
Winning is not imperative, but winning is a habit. And good habits must be practiced and cultivated.
Date / Time: Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Torino, Italy
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (on pitch); Juan Martínez Munuera (VAR)
Forecast: nice and warm for late September
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); none (USA); Sony TEN 1 (India); SuperSport MaXimo 1, Canal+ Sport 4 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); Paramount+, TUDNxtra (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Juventus team news: After their worst season in a decade, a fourth place following nine (9!) straight Serie A titles, Juve sacked Andrea Pirlo, rid themselves of Cristiano Ronaldo, and brought back Max Allegri, though their start to the new season has been anything but good. Just two wins from their first six league games (and just one point from their first three) has them sitting mid-table, well off the pace of early leaders Napoli. However, Juve have won back-to-back games in the league, and they took care of business in Malmö on the first Champions League group stage matchday as well, 3-0.
In addition to bringing back Allegri, they also brought back Moise Kean (from Everton) and added Manuel Locatelli (from Sassuolo) after his star turn at the Euros, which Italy won. They’ve also extended the loan deal with Atlético Madrid for Álvaro Morata, though he will miss his chance to face his former club thanks to an injury. Fellow leading goalscorer Paulo Dybala will also miss out due to injury.
Juve still carry plenty of threat of course, including Chelsea-linked Federico Chiesa, while their defense still has the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci marshaling the troops — including also Chelsea-linked young defender Matthijs de Ligt. Former Chelsea flop Johnny Squared, Juan Cuadrado is still around as well, at the age of 33, with well over 200 appearances for the Old Lady at this point.
View from the enemy: Black & White & Read All Over
Chelsea team news: The big news pre-match has been that N’Golo Kanté has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating for the next ten days. Adding a bit of extra concern to that has been that he was feeling under the weather just the other day as well, though was deemed fit and safe to play over the weekend, so hopefully that was unrelated. Kanté’s (and by extension, the squad’s) vaccination status has been under question as well, especially in light of his (and his family’s) heart health history and his reservations about coming back to play last year during Project Restart. Hopefully everyone’s being as safe as they possibly can be.
In more mundane injury news, Christian Pulisic is still out, so is Mason Mount, and so is Reece James, whose ankle problem is not minor, but perhaps not too major either. All four should be back after the international break, Mason maybe even before then.
Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City — our first in four games against them — was most disappointing not for the result itself, but for our approach and play during the game. Since then, everyone has been saying how we want to get back to playing on the front foot, so we should be expecting a confident, committed, and controlled performance from the boys in Blue. And all three points of course. (Romelu Lukaku scored here in May with Inter, so another goal from him wouldn’t go amiss either.)
Previously: Since our last visit to Turin was a 3-0 reverse, let’s just watch some open training from Tuesday. This will be our fifth meeting overall with Juventus, with each team winning once and drawing twice, 2-2 in the previous four games (2008-09 knockout rounds, 2012-13 group stage).