SPAL vs Juventus: Match preview
Juve moved four points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A after Wednesday's win over Atalanta and now the Old Lady will be hoping to keep the momentum going by attempting to extend their lead as much as possible with victory over SPAL.
Last time at home against Atalanta, the Bianconeri stretched their lead at the top of the Serie A table to four points with a 2-0 victory.
A first half cool finish from Gonzalo Higuain, following a fantastic lightning quick run from Douglas Costa gave Juve a 1-0 lead going into the break. 10 minutes from time and Atalanta were reduced to 10 men after Gianluca Mancini received a second yellow card. Juve made the game safe when Blaise Matuidi struck home his first Allianz Stadium goal after a smart pass from Pipita.
SPAL BATTLING THE DROP
Newly-promoted SPAL are currently in 18th place in Serie A on 24 points and are in the bottom three on goal difference. Their form this season has seen them pick up five wins, nine draws and 14 losses. However, they're unbeaten in their last three, winning twice and drawing once, their best run to date.
The Spallini added to their squad in January with perhaps their most notable signings yet with experienced Serie A midfielder, Jasmin Kurtic joining on loan from Atalanta and the signing of Brazilian midfielder, Everton Luiz from Partizan. Whilst the team from Ferrara also possess former Juventus players, Federico Mattiello and Mattia Vitale.
Last time out, SPAL were held to a 1-1 draw away at Sassuolo, and despite going in front thanks to a goal from former Leeds United striker, Mirco Antenucci in the 27th minute, were pegged back just four minutes later when Khouma Babacar converted from the spot.
LAST TIME VS SPAL
The Bianconeri took on SPAL for the first time in over 40 years in Serie A back in October at the Allianz Stadium.
Juve got off the mark in the 14th minute courtsey of a stunning strike from Federico Bernardeschi, before Paulo Dybala doubled the lead only eight minutes later with an outstanding free-kick.
SPAL pulled a goal back before the close of the half through Alberto Paloschi, but La Vecchia Signora increased their advantage again when Gonzalo Higuain reacted quickest from a corner to turn home. On 70 minutes, a pin-point cross by Douglas Costa from the left-hand side found Juan Cuadrado’s diving header at the back post who wrapped a 4-1 win for Juve.
#SPALJUVE MATCH STATS
- Juventus have scored in the last 18 matches against SPAL.
- This is the first meeting between SPAL and Juventus in Ferrara since May 1968. The Bianconeri won 1-0 with the goal scored by Gianfranco Zigoni, the father of Gianmarco Zigoni who played for SPAL last year. This was the last SPAL match before returning to Serie A this season.
- SPAL have two wins and a draw in their last three matches. They're looking to make it four matches unbeaten in the league for the first time this season.
- SPAL are 2-2-4 in their last eight home games scoring in seven of them.
- Juventus are on 74 points, their second-best total in Serie A after 28 matches (75 in 2013/14)
- If the Bianconeri keep a clean sheet, they will equal their Serie A record of 10 consecutive shutouts set in March 2016.
- Juve have the best attack in Serie A with 67 goals scored and the best defense with 15 goals conceded.
- Juve lead Serie A with 19 set piece goals and also lead the league with nine goals from corners.
- SPAL have allowed the most goals (18) in the first half-hour this season while Juve have scored the most in the same time period (23).