Juventus could not have fathomed that it would face a Week 5 fixture with Spezia sat lower on the table than the minnows in Serie A, and yet that’s the fate awaiting Turin’s giants on Wednesday.
The Bianconeri travel to the Stadio Alberto Picco midweek still seeking their first victory of the league campaign, hoping to end a nightmarish run and escape the relegation zone.
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Game Date: Sept. 21, 2021
Game Time: 12:20 p.m. ET
TV: fubo Sports Network 4 (Canada)
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Massimiliano Allegri will be as surprised as any to have seen his side record its worst start to a Serie A season since 1961—not the kind of history the coach was hoping to make in his return to the helm.
Juventus can take some solace from its 1-1 draw at home to joint-leaders AC Milan on Sunday, a reminder that they perhaps are still able to tussle with the big boys after all.
It’s less encouraging that the Bianconeri ended level after leading for 72 minutes thanks to Álvaro Morata’s early breakthrough, with Ante Rebić coming to the Rossoneri’s rescue late on:
Spezia could provide the springboard it has sought so desperately, however, considering manager Thiago Motta has only just secured his maiden win as manager.
To the former Inter Milan, Barcelona and PSG midfielder’s credit, his Spezia win rate of 40% is still double what he managed from his two-month spell coaching Genoa at the end of 2019.
The summer departure of Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United has caused a ripple effect in Turin, with theories abound as to how it relates to Juve’s woeful start to the campaign.
In one camp, there are those who see current form as proof as to why it was a mistake to sell the serial winner, even at 36 years of age. For others, it suggests the Ronaldo project was, on the whole, bad for the club and will weaken the organization in the long term:
Juventus won by three goals in each of its encounters with Spezia last term, the latter’s maiden season in the first tier.
The two teams have met on only four occasions, although Spezia does boast a victory over Juve and snatched a 3-2 win when the teams fought under a Serie B banner back in June 2007.
Motta’s men collected their first win of the campaign after beating newcomers Venezia 2-1 on Sunday, although their only home outing thus far ended in a 1-0 defeat to Udinese.