WE'VE sealed another stellar signing for the season with Serie A don Paolo Bandini bringing his expertise to the site thanks to our partner Unibet.
Paolo is an Anglo-Italian sportswriter who pens a superb weekly Serie A column for the Guardian and his other credits include ESPN, the BBC and TalkSport as well as making regular appearances on the Football Weekly podcast.
He's a Trevi Fountain of knowledge and we're delighted to have him on board. Here he previews Juve's trip to SPAL.
SPAL v Juventus (Sat 7.45pm)
This time last week, Juventus sat second in the Serie A table. By the end of Saturday night, they could be seven points clear in first place. All they need to do is beat a team that sits on the cusp of the relegation zone, in a fixture that they have lost just once in their club history – all the way back in 1957.
A foregone conclusion? Perhaps, but we should at least observe the fact that SPAL are presently on their best run of the season, having picked up seven points from their last three games. A team which once looked certain to go down is now up to joint-16th. SPAL’s position remains precarious, but they will not want for enthusiasm as this season enters into the home stretch.
One of the team’s co-owners, Simone Colombarini, joked that his team would win this weekend, “but only to do a favour for Napoli”. In reality, it will be enough of a challenge just to score against opponents who still have not conceded a league goal yet in 2018.
Juventus will be missing Mehdi Benatia, a crucial figure in the centre of their defence, as he serves a one-game suspension. SPAL will not be able to call on former Juventus striker Marco Borriello, who remains sidelined by a calf injury.
Mirco Antenucci is in good form, with two goals in his last three games, but it is asking a lot of the 33-year-old to succeed where the likes of Lazio, Fiorentina and Atalanta have all failed in recent weeks.
Anglo-Italian Paolo Bandini writes about Italian football for the Guardian and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.