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Sep 28, 2019 at 2pm UK at Allianz Stadium (Torino)
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Preview: Juventus vs. SPAL - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Juventus and SPAL, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Juventus will continue their pursuit of Serie A leaders Inter Milan when they welcome struggling SPAL to Turin on Saturday afternoon.

The Old Lady have collected 13 points from their five league games this season to sit second in the table, while SPAL are currently 19th with just three points to show from their start to the 2019-20 campaign.

Match preview

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri gestures against Atletico Madrid on September 18, 2019© Reuters

Four wins, one draw, nine goals scored and five conceded - that is how Juve have performed in Serie A this season. A total of 13 points is not good enough for first position heading into the latest round of matches, though, as Inter Milan under Antonio Conte have made a perfect start to the 2019-20 campaign.

Juve started their season with back-to-back wins over Parma and Napoli, before being held to a goalless draw at Fiorentina on September 14. The Old Lady returned to winning ways one week later against Hellas Verona, before recording a 2-1 victory at Brescia on Tuesday night.

The fact that Maurizio Sarri's side have not won a game by more than a single goal this season is an indication that the team are still working their way into the campaign - it has not been pretty thus far, but another win this weekend would lead them nicely into the huge game away to Inter next weekend.

The goals have not exactly flowed this season with Cristiano Ronaldo managing just two and Gonzalo Higuain netting just once. Aaron Ramsey scored his first for the club against Verona last weekend, though, and the Wales international looks set to play a key role for the Italian champions this season.

Juve will follow this match with a home game against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League next week - the Italian giants led 2-0 at Atletico Madrid in their first group game on September 18 but had to settle for a share of the spoils as Diego Simeone's side hit back to claim a 2-2 draw.

SPAL's Sergio Floccari celebrates scoring their second goal against Juventus with teammates on April 13, 2019© Reuters

SPAL are competing in Serie A for the third straight season, but it does appear that it could be a tough campaign for Leonardo Semplici's side, who have struggled for results in the early weeks.

Gli Spallini are one of only two teams in Italy's top flight - the other being basement side Sampdoria - to lose four of their five matches this season. They are also have the joint-worst defensive record with 11 goals conceded, and it is a tough ask for the visitors to pick up a positive result this weekend.

SPAL started their campaign with back-to-back defeats to Atalanta BC and Bologna but did manage to record an impressive 2-1 victory over Lazio on September 15. Semplici's team were unable to build on that result, though, and have lost their last two against Sassuolo and Lecce - conceding six times and scoring just once.

The White and Blues showed last season that they can compete at this level having finished 13th - they also beat Juve on home soil during the 2018-19 campaign and were not embarrassed in the away game with the champions only running out 2-0 winners in front of their own supporters.

SPAL also have two attackers in decent form this season with Andrea Petagna and Federico Di Francesco both managing two each in the league thus far, and the visitors will likely need a strong performance from the pair if they are to stand a chance of picking up a positive result in Turin.

Juventus form: WWDWW


Team News

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus on April 27, 2019© Reuters

Ronaldo missed Juve's win over Brescia during the week with an adductor problem, but the Portugal international is fit to return to the starting XI on Saturday afternoon.

Left-back Alex Sandro is also expected to feature despite not taking part in Friday's training session for personal reasons.

Juve do still have a number of injury problems, though, with Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia Perin, Marko Pjaca, Mattia De Sciglio, Douglas Costa and Danilo on the sidelines.

Juan Cuadrado is expected to be pressed into action at right-back, but it seems unlikely that Ramsey will be handed another starting role as Sarri looks to protect the fitness of the Wales international.

As for SPAL, Marco D'Alessandro and Mohamed Fares are both out with long-term knee injuries, but head coach Semplici has no fresh injury concerns.

Petagna and Di Francesco are both expected to start as the front two in a 3-5-2 formation, while Simone Missiroli and Alessandro Murgia should feature in midfield.

Juventus possible starting lineup: ​Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Pjanic, Matuidi, Khedira; Ronaldo, Higuain, Bernardeschi

SPAL possible starting lineup: Berisha; Felipe, Vicari, Cionek; Sala, Kurtic, Missiroli, Murgia, Reca; Petagna, Di Francesco

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We say: Juventus 2-0 SPAL

Juve are yet to hit top form in the early weeks of the campaign, but it is difficult to back against the Italian champions on Saturday afternoon. SPAL have struggled for results this term, and we fancy Sarri's side to record a comfortable three points in front of their own supporters.

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Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri during the post match press conference on July 21, 2019
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