Serie A strugglers SPAL face a daunting task of halting the unstoppable Juventus machine on Saturday night.
The Spallini sit in 18th spot by virtue of goal difference, with Sassuolo and Crotone also on 24 points, while the champions have unsurprisingly gone from strength to strength as sole leaders at the top.
Where and when: Allianz Stadium – 17 March, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see SPAL vs. Juventus: BT Sport, William Hill live streaming
Last time: Juventus took the spoils in the first ever meeting between the sides in Italy’s top flight. The 4-1 triumph included efforts from Federico Bernardeschi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Juan Cuadrado.
SPAL v Juventus Predictions and Preview
After nearly a whole campaign of trailing Napoli, the Bianconeri now have real daylight after picking up an astonishing 12th success on the bounce against Atalanta on Wednesday. Max Allegri’s squad hold a four-point advantage but also possess the championship winning knowhow and experience to navigate their final ten league clashes.
From front to back, every member of Allegri’s squad deserves great praise; with the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Stephan Lichtsteiner all proving they still have what it takes despite being the wrong side of thirty. Chiellini in particular has been his rugged best in a winning run that has seen Juventus concede only once to Verona.
Further forward, ex-Milan boss Allegri probably has the in-form striking duo in all of Europe in Higuain and Dybala. The South American’s have well over 40 goals between them in all competitions this term and give the Bianconeri that little bit of stardust to accompany the old school grit of the rearguard. Juventus are predictably the strong favourites for the encounter at 4/11 and available at 5/4 to register in both halves.
Hosts SPAL will look to the matches with Benevento and the two Verona outfits in their quest for survival, but really need to maintain the mini run they have put together. The Spallini have taken seven points from their last three games and do tend to fare slightly better on home soil. Captain and top scorer Mirco Antenucci will lead the line for the Emilia-Romagna club while his side is priced at 49/5 to pull off a shock result.
One to watch for SPAL: Alberto Paloschi is guaranteed to start alongside Antenucci and is a willing runner. The former Rossoneri starlet is 19/2 to score any time during the 90.
One to watch for Juventus: Douglas Costa has become a regular in the side following the long-term absence of Bernardeschi and Mario Mandzukic’s own troubles. The rapid winger is 7/1 to open proceedings.
Long shot: SPAL took something from their opening day clash with Lazio, have ran irresistible Napoli close and have held Inter this season. Each of the listed clubs have genuine European ambitions, showing the Spallini can compete but Juventus are a different proposition altogether. It would be a titanic effort from SPAL to take anything from the duel and a 2-2 stalemate is 29/1.