For much of the final weeks of the 2017-18 season, it didn’t look like Juventus and SPAL would meet again after their scoreless draw in mid-March. SPAL was the walking, talking definition of a club that looked like it was going to get relegated to Serie B. And then ... poof! About as last-ditch of last-ditch efforts get came SPAL’s way, and because of it they’re spending a second straight season in Italy’s top flight.
And that’s who’s coming to Allianz Stadium right out of the latest international break.
Just as was the case in March, Juventus is again at the top of the Serie A standings. And, just as was the case in March, SPAL are in the handful of teams that are going to be hanging out around the relegation zone pretty much all season long. Neither of those two developments 12 rounds into the 2018-19 season is all that much of a major development.
This is where we expected Juventus to be.
This is basically where we expected SPAL to be, too.
Here’s the thing when it comes to why this game is important (other than the obvious three points at stake): This is around the time where Max Allegri wants to start seeing signs of good things from his team. The new year is a approaching, the fact that Juventus will be competing in three competitions — Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League — isn’t all that far away from being a thing.
Basically, Allegri doesn’t want his team to peak at the midway point. Rather, he wants a steady progression upward so that when the knockout rounds of the Champions League arrives, then Juventus is starting to really hit its stride.
This edition of Allegri’s Juve has shown signs of fully hitting its stride. They have also shown signs of being a completely frustrating team that doesn’t really know how to completely kill off an opponent before it’s too late. (Nobody’s perfect, I guess!)
Which one will show up today?
Well, I guess we’re going to find out soon enough.
When: Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Official kickoff time: 6 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 5 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 12 noon Eastern Time; 9 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Perin; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Pjanic, Bentancur, Douglas Costa; Cristiano Ronaldo, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Benatia, Barzagli, Cancelo, Spinazzola, Matuidi, Dybala, Kean
SPAL starting XI (3-5-2): Gomis; Cionek, Bonifazi, Felipe; Lazzari, Kurtic, Schiattarella, Missiroli, Fares; Petagna, Antenucci
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada); Eleven Sports 2 UK (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); 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.