Match Time: 10/18/2020 02:45 Sunday（GMT+8）
Perennial champions Juventus face struggling Crotone on Saturday evening, in a monumental mismatch on all levels.
The seismic shock caused by Juventus talisman Cristiano Ronaldo's positive COVID-19 test after international duty with Portugal has cast a long shadow over their preparations for Saturday's game.
Such a global news story is likely to test the management skills of callow coach Andrea Pirlo to the maximum. Fortunately, a more straightforward on-pitch task could hardly fall into the club legend's path this weekend.
Hosts Crotone have already shipped 10 goals in their three losses since returning to the top flight last month. Unlike fellow promoted side Benevento, they have been unable to build on their momentum by adding more quality to their ranks.
Talismanic Nigeria frontman Simy was Serie B capocannoniere last season, notching 20 goals in 37 games and shoulders the goalscoring burden once again this season, having scored from the spot in week three.
Though midfield lynchpin Luca Cigarini has seen it all before in a long Serie A career with Atalanta, Parma, Napoli and others, it is the leaky back three behind him which is of most concern for Gli Squali. Unsurprisingly, they have only once avoided defeat to their formidable opponents in their brief Serie A history.
Even in Ronaldo's absence, Juve of course have a plethora of attacking talent in reserve - including exciting deadline day acquisition Federico Chiesa, from Fiorentina. Alvaro Morata has also been playing understudy to some extent since his return to the club last month and may relish the opportunity against limited opposition.
Pirlo, before the international interval, saw his new charges awarded a win against Napoli, as the opposition never arrived due to observing the stringent quarantine restrictions in Naples.
Previously they snatched a 2-2 draw with Roma despite going down to 10 men, all of which leaves them sitting fourth after three games.
Now, the stage is set for the next generation of Bianconeri stars to take centre stage. Pirlo's promotion of talents such as Chiesa, Dejan Kulusevski, Rodrigo Bentancur and Weston McKennie - who has also tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning to Italy - mark a departure from a previously more mature make-up.
A period of voluntary isolation is being observed by the entire Juventus squad ahead of the match, to limit any further spread of infection. The consequences of these positive tests will perhaps be realised more keenly when the Old Lady travel to Kiev to open their Champions League campaign next week than they will on Saturday.
Crotone Serie A form: LLL
Juventus Serie A form: WD
Hosts Crotone have doubts over Libyan midfielder Ahmad Benali and Giuseppe Cuomo. However, journeyman striker Emmanuel Riviere is likely to make the bench in an otherwise settled squad.
Simy leads the line again, with support from his chief supplier Junior Messias.
For the visitors, Cristiano Ronaldo and McKennie - just settling into life at Italy's most successful club - will necessarily both be absent due to positive tests.
Aaron Ramsey, who has featured more often under Pirlo's leadership, is also set to be absent after belatedly withdrawing from international duty with Wales. Paulo Dybala is again doubtful following a bout of gastroenteritis.
Adrien Rabiot's suspension was served in the bizarre non-game against Napoli last time, so the Frenchman is set to at least feature from the bench, if not push for a starting place in midfield. Winger Federico Bernardeschi is nearing full fitness but Matthijs de Ligt and Alex Sandro are still out of action.
Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Golemic; Pereira, Cigarini, Dragus, Molina, Reca; Messias, Simy
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Rabiot, Bentancur, Arthur; Chiesa, Kulusevski, Morata
Despite turmoil arising in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo's enforced quarantine, Juventus have far too much ability in their ranks to come unstuck against humble Crotone.
With the motivation of making up lost ground on Atalanta and AC Milan, Juve will go all out for goals and Crotone's sieve-like defence are in no position to repel them.
Top betting tip
Our expert tipster partners at Nowgoal.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match.
1x2 Picks: Juventus wins
Handicap Picks: Crotone +1.25