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SPAL boss Semplici plans to make life difficult for Juventus

Leonardo Semplici, SPAL
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Leonardo Semplici is convinced SPAL will deliver an “extraordinary” performance and make life very difficult for Juventus ahead of this afternoon’s clash.

Semplici takes his team over to Juventus this afternoon at possibly the very worst time. Currently, SPAL sit down in 19th-place in the Serie A table having lost four of their opening five games this season.

They also boast a terrible recent defensive record after conceding three goals in three of their last five fixtures.

Therefore, many fans are expecting Juventus to comfortably take all three points in Turin. Not helping SPAL’s case is the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, who could start alongside Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

“In the last two days I’ve tried to keep up the morale of the lads because these situations aren’t good,” SPAL boss Semplici told reporters during a pre-match conference on Friday.

“We knew we’d face moments like these, but until you find yourself in them, you don’t know what they’re like.

“Tomorrow we’ll play an extraordinary match against one of the most important teams in Europe.

“It’ll be a very important test and I’m convinced the lads will do well and make life difficult for Juve.

Semplici added: “We’ll have to stay in the game.

“It’ll be a very difficult challenge, but I want to see a team who try to play football and know what they’re doing, putting identity into their play, even if it means taking risks.”

SPAL will be without midfielders Mattia Valoti and Jasmin Kurtic for the clash along with defender Felipe.

Juventus, meanwhile, will not be able to call upon full-back Alex Sandro for the game itself. The 28-year-old pulled out of training earlier this week to return to Brazil following his father’s death.

The Juventus and SPAL match starts at 15:00 (CET).

Alex Sandro, Juventus
MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 18: Alex Sandro of Juventus controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Atletico Madrid and Juventus at Wanda Metropolitano on September 18, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)