Juventus vs Spezia match preview: time, TV schedule and how to watch Serie A
The result of Saturday’s match between Juventus and Roma was disappointing. That said, there were a lot of things about it that could be considered major positives.
For the first hour or so, Juventus played very good, proactive football. They pressed like maniacs, especially in the early stages of the game, and effectively sealed Roma in their own half for much of the first half. It’s the kind of game we’ve seen very little of in recent years. They couldn’t last longer than 90 minutes, because nobody can, but it was a huge step up from the disaster that unfolded against Sampdoria a week before.
But now they have to start over.
It’s a story we’ve heard so often over the past three or four years. Juve would play a magnificent game, only to fall back into the doldrums for the next few years, dashing any hopes the fans had built up from that strong performance.
This trend must be reversed and it must start on Wednesday against Spezia. The Aquilotti are looking to extend their stay in Serie A again after spending their first season in the top flight hovering just above a relegation battle they were never really drawn into. They finished six points above the drop and have never been below 16th place after mid-January. The core of this squad is back, with upgrades such as goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski and Milan loanee Daniel Maldini. They faced Juve up close in both games last year. Juve had to come from behind twice to win 3-2 at Spezia in September before the comeback saw Juve slip past Alvaro Morata and then hold on for a 1-0 lead. But no matter how annoying they may be, Juventus have no excuse to drop points in this game, especially at home. If they want to finally use this play to confirm a positive trend, one thing is going to have to change.
The unfortunate thing about games like Saturday’s is that there has been an unfortunate trend on the rare occasions when we have seen games like this, namely that Juventus often managed to lose points there. We saw it against Inter and Atalanta last year, when the team played some of their best football of the season only to fail to win for a very simple reason: not creating enough chances to quality to score. Domination is only really worth it if you score enough goals to win games. The most recent example from Saturday is a case in point: Juve had an incredible first half, but only managed three shots on target in those 45 minutes, and only one of them came from open play. The other two were direct free kicks.
This lack of chance creation has become a bugaboo for Juventus over the past year, having gone from runaway leaders in this category under Andrea Pirlo to barely inside the top 10 in the first season of Massimiliano Allegri’s second term. . The final step before we can truly say this team has made a step forward is for this metric to activate. If Juve can match the style of play we saw for most of the game against Roma and score enough to settle things early, so maybe this team can do the kind of noise people were hoping for as the season approached.
- The list of long-term injuries remains the same: Federico Chiesa, Kaio Jorge, Paul Pogba.
- Max Allegri said in his pre-match press conference that Angel Di Maria will not start but will be available on the bench.
- Nicolo Fagioli will also be available after a minor injury concern.
- Leonardo Bonucci won’t play on Wednesday but is on track to be ready for Fiorentina this weekend.
- Allegri still seems to think that whether Arkadiusz Milik and Dusan Vlahovic can play together is an open question. Should we tell him?
- Allegri has confirmed that Nicolo Rovella is heading to Monza on loan for the season. He also all but confirmed that Fagioli would stay.
What do you know, you’re playing the talented youngster and good things are coming!
Fabio Miretti was undeniably the best player on the pitch for Juventus against Roma. His effect on the midfield was palpable in every way. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a midfielder whose first instinct was to receive the ball and immediately push it up. That Miretti does it – and does it effectively without giving in to the temptation to try a Hollywood pass – at the age of 19 is beyond belief.
Allegri was measured in his response to questions about the youngster during his press conference, praising his performance but also saying he will also need a rest as we enter the frenetic phase of the season and also making a strange comment about basically trying to keep his head on his shoulders. Such is life when you’re a young player under Allegri – you never feel like you’re fully trusted. But Allegri’s assertion that ‘If the players are good, they play’ must be accompanied by an acknowledgment that Fabio Miretti is well – and that he must be a big part of the midfield this season.
Until Paul Pogba returns to the field or Leandro Paredes arrives and takes over the register position for Manuel Locatelli to occupy a better place, Miretti is the greatest creative force in the midfield. Miretti has proven at this point that he belongs. Now is the time to let it do its thing.
When: Wednesday August 31, 2022.
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy.
Official kick-off time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe, 7:45 p.m. UK, 2:45 a.m. Eastern, 11:45 a.m. Pacific.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada), BT Sport 2 (UK), Sky Sport 4K, Sky Sport Calcio (Italy).
Online/Broadcast: Paramount+ (United States); fuboTV Canada (Canada); BTSport.com, BT Sport app (UK); DAZN, Sky GO Italia (Italy).
Other live view options can be found hereand as always, you can also follow us live and all the bullshit we say on Twitter. If you haven’t done so already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join the discussion below.