Serie A returns this weekend as Juventus travel to newly promoted Frosinone. A tearful Ronaldo needs to pick himself up and get back to business, with the Portuguese bound to have goalscoring opportunities against much weaker opposition. The game has a David vs Goliath feel to it. In fact the Twitter accounts of both clubs highlight this.Frosinone have a total of 37,000 followers, in comparison to the 6.1m who are following Juventus. However, as we know, this has no bearing on Sunday’s outcome and Juventus should not head into Sunday’s game with any lurking complacency. Despite Frosinone turning 90 this month, the two clubs have met only on a handful of occasions. Two of these fixtures were held in Serie B, after Juventus’ enforced relegation left them competing in Italy’s second division for the first time in the clubs history. Frosinone, who welcome Juventus to the 16,000 capacity Stadio Benito Stripe, have never beaten the Old Lady, losing three and drawing once. Coupled with poor form, the Canarini are languishing in 19th, with just one point. Conceding ten and scoring none, Frosinone are going to hope all their birthday wishes come true at once.In complete contrast, Juve sit proud at the top of Serie A. Boasting twelve points from a possible twelve, they are the only side to have a perfect and unbeaten start to the season.
Despite only facing one another on four occasions, this fixture has seen its dose of drama. Juventus, as expected, have traditionally been overwhelming favourites, but yet it appears at times expectation can be problematic. Featuring a side with the likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Cuadrado, Leonardo Bonucci and Stephan Lichtsteiner, the Bianconeri were unable to prevent Frosinone from picking up their first point of the 2015/16 season.
In a fairly dull first half, which did see Pogba thunder a shot off the bat, it looked like being one of those days. However, determined to mark his debut in style, Simone Zaza popped up on the 50th minute to score what looked likely the decisive goal. Despite this, Frosinone refused to be beaten and were well rewarded as Blanchard headed home in the 92nd minute to share the spoils, leaving the Canarini to return home with a famous point.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Bartosz Salamon
Cristiano Ronaldo would have envisioned a blistering start to his Juve career. Disappointingly sent off just 30 minutes into his Champions League debut with the Old Lady – his first red card in 154 Champions League games – the Portuguese superstar is ready and recuperated for Sunday’s trip.
With two Serie A goals to his name and a box of fresh Mercurials, Ronaldo will have his eyes firmly fixed on creating positive headlines this weekend. The calendar gods have been kind on Ronaldo, with Frosinone conceding ten goals in just four matches. It is set up as the perfect revival for I Bianconeri’s star man. However, Poland international Bartosz Salamon will do his utmost best to prevent CR7 from having an easy day’s work. Once of AC Milan, Bartosz has made over 200 senior appearances, including lifting the Serie B title with Cagliari in 2016 where he was viewed as their star player. Appearing to be more committed to the cause then ever, Bartosz tweeted a heartfelt message to the Frosinone faithful and with perhaps the biggest game of the season lurking around the corner, you would expect the Frosinone players to put their all into this one.
Ex-Arsenal striker Joel Campbell has returned to full fitness and is available to play, albeit from the bench as Longo is rumoured to be partnering Perica and Ciano due to a more familiar partnership. However, Luca Pafanini, Mirko Gori and Federico Dioniso are all ruled out whilst Danilo Soddimo is doubtful. For Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri is without the suspended Douglas Costa, although the attacker has also picked up an ankle injury. Sami Khedira is also a doubt after leaving the pitch early in Valencia, but with his condition still to be assessed he may yet feature.
Potential Frosinone Lineup: Sportiello; Goldaniga, Salamon, Krajnc; Molinaro, Chibsah, Maiello, Hallfredsson, Zampano; Perica, Ciano.
Potential Juventus Lineup: Szczensy; Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci, Cuadrado; Pjanic, Can; Mandzukic, Dybala, Bernardeschi; Ronaldo.
Juventus have started the season off in an excellent way. Straight off the back of a 2-0 victory over Valencia after playing for 60 minutes with ten men shows this side has character and resilience. With Ronaldo suspended for the Champions League, expect him to come out all guns blazing here.
In addition, Frosinone have really struggled adapting to life in Serie A, with their sole point coming in a 0-0 draw with Bologna, and are yet to score. Their troubles could continue here and a crushing Juventus win may be on the cards.