Juventus will visit Spezia on Sunday as the Old Woman looks to get back on the winning track after two consecutive draws in Serie A.
Juventus are sixth in Serie A after five weeks of play. With three draws and two victories, Juventus is one of only three teams still undefeated in the league. Despite this record, Andrea Pirlo and his men have posted the worst league start since 2010.
Pirlo would be looking for a positive response from his players after a loss at home to Barcelona in the Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo's recovery from Covid-19 should serve as a boost for them as well.
Spezia, like Juventus, has drawn their two previous matches, including an impressive draw against Fiorentina. The newly-promoted team has been quite impressive, ranking 14th in the table, with five points from their five games.
Ahead of this David vs Goliath competition coming from the Orogel Dino Manuzzi Stadium on Sunday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team news and tactics
Spezia is in a difficult situation with several players injured and some isolated due to Covid-19. Coach Vincenzo Italiano will have to cope without Gennaro Acampora, Martin Erlic, Giulio Maggiore, Federico Mattiello, Juan Ramos, Giuseppe Mastinu, Elio Capradossi, Jacopo Sala, Jeroen Zoet and Andrej Galabinov.
Riccardo Marchizza has recovered from the virus and has been chosen for Sunday's day. In fact, he is expected to appear early on against the champions, forming the bottom line alongside Julian Chabot, Claudio Terzi, and Salva Ferrer.
Spezia has looked unstable defensively, especially against the big teams, sending more than three goals to AC Milan and Sassuolo. Having one of the worst defensive records in the league could prove a problem against fit Alvaro Morata.
However, the Juventus defense is also unreliable and Spezia has the quality to hurt them. Fresh from a midweek victory in the Coppa Italia against Serie B's Citadella, Spezia would hope to surprise the Old Lady at home. For that to happen, they will look to Daniele Verde to produce the merchandise in front of the goal, after scoring in the cup tie.
Probable formation (4-3-3): Provedel; Ferrer, Terzi, Chabot, Marchizza; Agoume, Ricci, Bartolomei; Gyasi, Nzola, Green
Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt have started training, but neither of them is part of the team for the trip to Spezia. Alex Sandro is still out due to injury and has not entered the squad either. It is unlikely that there will be a number of changes to the team that started against Barcelona in the middle of the week.
Paulo Dybala could be on the bench after a disappointing performance against Barcelona, while Juventus welcome Federico Chiesa from suspension, who appears ready to start.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral; Frabotta, Rabiot, Bentancur, Square; Kulusevski, Chiesa; Morata
Spezia 0-3 Juventus