Having registered impressive victories over Lazio and AC Milan in their previous two games, Eusebio Di Francesco’s Sassuolo travel to Turin to take on Serie A leaders Juventus on Friday. 

 

Massimiliano Allegri will no doubt have one eye on his side’s midweek Champions League decider against Bayern Munich, but will also know that Juventus cannot afford to lose focus in the Serie A with Napoli hot on their heels. Maurizio Sarri’s side were eliminated from the Europa League in the previous round, and will now be able to focus their attention solely on denying the Old Lady her fifth consecutive title.

On the other hand, Sassuolo will have designs on challenging for a European spot this campaign. Di Francesco’s side currently lie 7th in the table, 3 points behind AC Milan and 7 points behind Inter Milan, who occupy the final European place. Having already beaten Juventus once this season, the Neroverdi will be looking to pull off another upset in Turin.

Lineups

Juventus

Possible starting XI (4-3-1-2): Buffon (C); Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Evra; Khedira, Marchisio, Pogba; Pereyra; Dybala, Mandžukić

Sassuolo

Possible starting XI (4-3-3): Consigli; Vrsaljko, Cannavaro, Acerbi, Peluso; Missiroli, Magnanelli (C), Duncan; Berardi, Falcinelli, Sansone

Key Stats

  • Sassuolo are the third-most improved side this season (comparing points at this stage) in the Serie A, behind only Inter Milan and Napoli.
  • Juventus have not conceded a goal in the Serie A since the 11th of January, when they beat Sampdoria 2-1.
  • Sassuolo have picked up 9 points from their last 3 league games — more than any other side in the division except AS Roma.
  • Juventus have won 20 of their 21 games this season after scoring first, drawing on one occasion.
  • Sassuolo attacker Nicola Sansone has been involved directly in four goals for the Neraverdi in his last four games.

Prediction

Juventus 1 – 0 Sassuolo

Juventus are likely to name a strong lineup on Friday, given they will have enough time to recover ahead of their meeting against Bayern Munich. Although Sassuolo are on a good run of form, they come up against a side who have one of the best defences in Europe. A narrow victory is likely for the hosts.

Odds (bet365)

Juventus: 1.33

Draw: 4.50

Sassuolo: 12.00

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