Juventus are back on the peninsula after a respectable draw against Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday. They're set to host Chievo Verona on Saturday, in a match that will undoubtedly be dull and lifeless and possibly make me want to kill innocent donkeys in retribution.
Why do I feel such vitrol toward this matchup? Well, the last four times the Old Lady and the Flying Donkeys have met, the result has been a draw. In three of those matches, Chievo have come back to earn a point (the other being scoreless). In other words, they're a bit of a bogey team for Juve.
And yet their matches are dreadful. It seems every time the two teams meet, Chievo set up for a draw (then again, it seems Chievo set up for a draw in every match). Juventus find a way to pierce their defences, and then the Flying Donkeys manage a header from a set-piece or something similar to make what should be an exciting comeback downright dull.
Will this match be any different? Well, it should be. Juve are joint-top, with Lazio and Napoli. They spent last week coming back from behind at Genoa to win 3-1 before overcoming a 2-0 lead at Chelsea to draw 2-2. The bianconeri have nearly everyone healthy, save Simone Pepe, and one of the strongest benches in Serie A.
Meanwhile, Chievo have lost their last two and have scored just three goals this season. They're missing Alberto Paloschi and Lorenzo Squizzi, and Luciano might not be fit (although the scary Sergio Pellissier is available). The match is in Turin. On paper, this should be a cakewalk for the hosts. And yet...
Your bit of fortune cookie wisdom: avoid old ladies riding flying donkeys.
Match Date/Time: Saturday, September 22, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
TV: RAI International, Sky Calcio 1, ESPN UK