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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. SPAL

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Let’s just hope this doesn’t resemble the last time these two teams played against one another, shall we?

Juventus v Hellas Verona - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

When you saw Juventus’ schedule after it was released, one of the first things that caught your eye was the stretch in September where what teams the Italian champions were going to face just as the Champions League was starting up. Mixed in between what proved to be a trip to Atlético Madrid was three straight against teams expected to be in the bottom parts of the table — Hellas Verona, Brescia and SPAL, two newcomers to Serie A and one that just barely survived relegation a year ago.

In a perfect world, it’s three straight wins with three straight

In reality, the first two parts of this three-part series has been far from simple.

Juventus’ answer to the second-half collapse against Atlético Madrid has been a pair of 2-1 comeback wins against Hellas Verona and Brescia. They’ve been, as you can probably guess, overall performances that aren’t exactly great in the spectrum of what we want this Juventus side to look like with a manager like Maurizio Sarri now at the helm. We’ve been seeing bits and pieces of what Juve could look like under Sarri, but the thing about this season that has been a constant is that the consistency from match to match — hell, half to half — just hasn’t been there just yet.

Now, with the last of the favorable fixtures on the horizon before the Champions League makes its return to Allianz Stadium on the first day of October, there’s another chance to show some signs of progress rather than a little here and a little bit there.

Or, maybe just maybe, do more than just record another 2-1 come-from-behind win.

Either way, we know that this is another step in the process of the Sarri system. Obviously you would like to see a little bit more against smaller clubs like Juventus has faced in Hellas Verona and Brescia (and soon against SPAL), and that is obviously fueling some of the grumpiness about how the team is playing right now. (OK, but not all that impressive.)

Some folks have patience. Some obviously ... don’t. Either way, facing SPAL on the eve of another Champions League group stage game will be something that hopefully proves to be more beneficial than anything both in the immediate future and down the road this season.

MATCH INFO

When: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019

Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy

Official kickoff time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 9 am. Eastern Time; 6 a.m. Pacific Time

STARTING LINEUPS

Juventus starting XI (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Matuidi; Khedira, Pjanic, Rabiot; Ramsey; Ronaldo, Dybala

Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Demiral, Beruatto, Emre Can, Bentancur, Higuain, Bernardeschi

SPAL starting XI (3-5-2): Berisha; Tomovic, Vicari, Igor; Sala, Murgia, Valdifiori, Missiroli, Reca; Moncini, Petagna

SPAL bench: Thiam, Letica, Cionek, Floccari, Strefezza, Felipe, Paloschi, Cannistra, Jankovic, Tunjov, Zanchetta

HOW TO WATCH

Television: TLN (Canada); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD, NOW TV (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.