Today is Juventus’ 123rd birthday. Juve has played on its birthday before, with the pretty much all over the board because that’s simply what happens when you have 122 of these things before this year. Some good, some bad, some in between and others that will have probably left Juve supporters frustrated just like the club’s last couple of Serie A fixtures.
It just so happens that the last time Juventus played the same kind of team that they will be playing today — a clear Serie A minnow who will be trying to avoid getting relegated from the first weekend of the season until the last. Juventus played Empoli that Nov. 1 night back in 2014, and they had two goal scorers:
Andrea Pirlo and Alvaro Morata.
Say! I think those two guys can make an impact when Juventus faces Spezia in Cesena today, right? Well, at least one guy can do it on the field once again. The other guy, the one who scored a pretty nice free kick on Juve’s birthday six years ago, is looking to get a little bit of his team’s mojo back and wind in its sails after a stretch following the first international break where the talk around the club has been more about what they haven’t been able to do more than anything else.
Juventus is coming off a very bad 2-0 loss to Barcelona. Before that, there was the disappointing 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona. The weekend before that, there was another 1-1 draw, this time against Crotone. Sure, there’s a 2-0 win to open the Champions League group stage mixed there, but that seems like years ago when you think about how Juve’s last two games have gone.
Much like the matchup against Crotone, this is the chance to at least get a little bit right against a team that Juventus should be beating 11 times out of 10. Spezia has only one win to its name this season — which came over a month ago against Udinese. Since then, it’s been a loss and a couple of draws against Parma and Fiorentina. (Not exactly heavy hitters in Serie A, right?) So, yeah, this is a game where Juventus needs a win and needs a win bad.
Maybe Pirlo can pitch in a free kick to help Juve win or something like that. It worked the last time Juventus played on its birthday, so there’s that.
When: Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020
Where: Orogel Stadium, Cesena, Italy
Official kickoff time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 9 a.m. Eastern Time; 6 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Demiral, Bonucci, Danilo; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Arthur, McKennie, Chiesa; Morata, Dybala
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Frabotta, Ramsey, Rabiot, Bernardeschi, Portanova, Kulusevski, Ronaldo
Spezia starting XI (4-3-2-1): Provedel; Ferrer, Chabot, Terzi, S Bastoni; Bartolomei, Ricci, Pobega; Verde, Nzola, Farias
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