Time to get back to winning ways. After a disappointing draw vs Verona on the weekend, Juventus will try to get back to winning ways as they host Spezia at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening.
After starting 2021 with a bang, the Old Lady has flattered in the last few matches. Out-fought and out-thought in losses to both Napoli and Porto in the past fortnight, Juventus had got back on track with a regulation win against Calabrian minnows Crotone in their previous outing, as top-scoring talisman Ronaldo struck yet another brace for the champions - his seventh in Serie A so far. However, frustration was etched across the Portuguese icon's face when Verona deservedly equalized at the Bentegodi, as if he could sense the Scudetto slipping away.
With potentially definitive fixtures against Lazio and then Porto - as Juve seek to turn around a 2-1 deficit in the Champions League - to come in the next few days, under-pressure coach Andrea Pirlo will be acutely aware that there can be no excuses for failing to defeat modest Spezia in midweek.
Even though the visitors' debut campaign at the elite level has exceeded all expectations - particularly in the unforgettable victories over Napoli and Milan - and Pirlo has several injury concerns to contend with, the legendary playmaker of Juventus teams past must ensure his side secure the right result. As they have been tough to beat on home soil this season - with eight wins and just one loss in 11 league contests at the Allianz Stadium - they should have every chance of doing so, despite the circumstances.
Curiously, despite the enormous gulf in stature between the two clubs, Spezia may prefer to tackle their fellow Bianconeri outfit on Tuesday rather than one of Serie A's also-rans.
Following their 2-2 draw with relegation-haunted Parma on Saturday, Vincenzo Italiano's spirited side remains the only club to have picked up more points against teams in the top half of the table than the bottom. Notwithstanding a 3-0 reverse to Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi last time they hit the road, the Aquilotti's away record is also better than on home turf.
Final Analysis and Prediction:
The plucky visitors may have a good track record against the bigger boys this term, but their progressive approach is likely to come unstuck against Juventus, as the home side are particularly unimpeachable on Turin turf.
With Aaron Ramsey overdue a telling contribution and Federico Chiesa continuing to offer a flicker of hope, some of the champions' supporting cast can step up to lift a little weight off Cristiano Ronaldo's broad shoulders.
Final Score: Juventus 3-0 Spezia