With Inter Milan in action later in the night, Juventus can leapfrog Antonio Conte in the points table when they host SPAL in Serie A this weekend at Juventus Stadium.
The Old Lady opened the season with back-to-back wins over Parma and Napoli, but the 0-0 stalemate robbed Maurizio Sarri’s men from claiming the 100% record. Inter Milan are the only side to win all the five games of the season so far.
However, Sarri’s men recorded two wins in the last two league games and are just two points behind their rivals on the table.
For SPAL, the alarm bells are ringing already. They have lost four times in the first five games, with only the goal difference keeping them from the bottom place at the moment.
The Serie A match will be played between Juventus and SPAL at Juventus Stadium, in Turin, Italy. The ground has a capacity of 41,507.
The game will start at 06:30 PM (IST), on Saturday, September 28.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Juventus – W W D D W W
SPAL – W L L W L L
Juventus Team News:
Juventus are hit hard with injuries as more than half a dozen key players still remain in the treatment room.
Giorgio Chiellini (ACL), Douglas Costa (muscle), Mattia Perin (shoulder), Marko Pjaca (ACL), Mattia De Sciglio (bicep), and Danilo (bicep) will all be missing the match against SPAL.
Sarri in for an injury boost:
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the training this week and could be available for the clash against SPAL. The 34-year-old missed the midweek fixture against Brescia due to an injury.
However, Sarri also reiterated that he has no desire to risk his superstar unnecessarily, and considering that Juve have a Champions League assignment next week, Ronaldo could feature from the bench as well.
Before the start of the current season, Sarri faced a totally different problem at his new club. He had too many midfielders, talented ones, with all looking to cement their place in the playing 11, barring Miralem Pjanic, who is ahead in the pecking order.
The former Chelsea and Napoli man said that he intended to sell a few players, for not all of them can play week in and week out. But the fact that nobody left, made the situation a bit tricky at Juventus.
And so far, from the decisions that Sarri had taken, it’s clear that he doesn’t see Emre Can as a part of his plans. While Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Miralem Pjanic, Semi Khedira and Blaise Matuidi all fight for the place in the playing 11.
But Champions League means changes!
Matuidi featured from the bench in the last league game, while Emre Can remain an unused substitute. The duo could start here, while as could Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi.
Juventus squad for this game:
Szczesny, De Ligt, Pjanic, Khedira, Ronaldo, Ramsey, Dybala, Matuidi, Cuadrado, Bonucci, Higuain, Emre Can, Rugani, Rabiot, Demiral, Bentancur, Pinsoglio, Bernardeschi, Beruatto, Buffon
Juventus Probable XI:
Szczesny (GK), Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro, Pjanic, Matuidi, Khedira/Can, Dybala, Higuain, Bernardeschi
SPAL FC Team News:
The visitors remain without midfielders Mohamed Fares and Marco D’Alessandro for this game. Both the players are recovering from ACL tears.
SPAL Probable XI:
Berisha (GK), Felipe, Vicari, Cionek, Sala, Kurtic, Missiroli, Murgia, Reca, Petagna, Di Francesco
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Gonzalo Higuain: Sort of reborn after spending the second half of the last season on-loan at Chelsea. But he is the main striker in the team at the moment and is in good touch as well.
Paulo Dybala: Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo made a move to Juventus, the Argentine has been in and out of the team far too often. But it’s not entirely Ronaldo’s fault, for the 25-year-old has suffered from a dip in form as well. A top-talent nonetheless.
Cristiano Ronaldo: The superstar, one of the best of all times and somebody who defies age. We are lucky to have witnessed so much greatness unfolding in front of us.
Federico Di Francesco: He has scored twice in the league so far and remains the team’s most in-form player at the moment. Considering Juve are clear favorites to win the game, the 25-year-old can still fetch you some vital points here considering he hardly holds back from taking a pop at the goal.
Miralem Pjanic: If he starts, he should be in your team. He will be pulling the strings from the midfield. Expert in dead-ball situations and can pop-up with a goal or an assist.
JUV vs SPL Dream11 potential winner:
Anything other a win for Juventus will be a disaster for Maurizio Sarri. A comfortable outing for the champions.