I feel safe in saying that two of Juventus’ first three opponents this season are, on the whole, not very good. Between the two of them, Sassuolo and Sampdoria have fewer points combined than Juve’s other opponent this season, Roma, even before Tuesday night’s Paulo Dybala-centric win over Monza.
I also feel safe in saying that tonight’s opposition, Spezia, falls more into the “bad” category than the “good” category like the Sassuolos and Sampdorias of the world.
Basically, this is a must-win game for Juventus and the kind of game that we can’t be sitting here in a few hours saying that it’s a third straight night of dropped points for Max Allegri’s squad. Nobody wants that, right? No, nobody here at least. That I can be sure of, everybody.
And you want to know who also thinks it’s a must-win game against Spezia? Well, the guy who’s filling out the starting lineup tonight and had his team playing some pretty decent football over the weekend. (Yeah, yeah, I know, they couldn’t sustain it. And that’s bad!)
With the schedule being like it is now and for essentially the next 2 1⁄2 months until everybody goes on an extended break from club football due to the World Cup, the fixtures are going to be coming quick, so the opportunities to rack up points in a hurry seemingly starts right now. As much as you don’t want to worry much about the table this time of year since there’s only been a couple of games, the last thing Juve needs to see happen is the rest of the pack ahead of them — or at least the main challengers for the top four — create some serious distance over the next couple of weeks.
Also, there’s this: Spezia is not very good.
Sure, Spezia might be sitting on five points just like Juventus, but they’re not very good.
So here’s to hoping that Juventus plays against Spezia more like they did against Sassuolo than they did Sampdoria. If it’s more of the former, then it will be another happy night at the Allianz Stadium. But if not ... oh boy I don’t even want to imagine that right now.
When: Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022.
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and around Europe, 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, 9:30 a.m. Pacific time.
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Danilo, Gatti, Bremer, De Sciglio; Miretti, Locatelli, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Vlahovic, Kean.
Juventus bench: Pinsoglio, Perin, Alex Sandro, Rugani, McKennie, Kostić, Zakaria, Fagioli, Milik, Di Maria, Soulé.
Spezia starting XI (3-5-2): Dragowski; Nikolaou, Kiwior, Hristov; Holm, Kovalenko, Bourabia, Bastoni, Reca; Gyasi, Nzola.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport Calcio, Sky Sport 251, Sky Sport 4K, Sky Sport Calcio.
Online/Streaming: Paramount+ (United States); fuboTV Canada (Canada); BTSport.com, BT Sport App (United Kingdom); DAZN, Sky GO Italia, NOW TV (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.