Juventus will be hoping to strengthen their hold at the top of the Serie A table when they welcome Bologna to the Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The 2019-20 Serie A returns to action after a two-week hiatus due to the international break and reigning champions Juventus will be hoping to extend their unbeaten start to the season when they take on Bologna at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Juventus moved to the top of the table after they defeated challengers Inter Milan 2-1 in their last game prior to the international break, opening up a one-point lead. The Bianconeri are unbeaten in their seven games so far and have accumulated 19 points from their 7 games (W6 D1). Manager Maurizio Sarri will be hoping that his side widen the gap at the top with a win on Saturday.

Bologna find themselves in 11th place, with 9 points from 7 matches so far this season (W2 D3 L2). The Rossoblu are have not picked up a win in their last four outings (D2 L2), with their latest Serie A clash ending in a 2-2 draw against Lazio. Manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, who is battling leukemia, will be hoping that his team are able to turn the tides around against the champions.

Juventus and Bologna battled each other thrice last season, twice in the league and once in Coppa Italia, with the Bianconeri winning all three encounters. And ahead of the latest meeting between them, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics

Juventus

Danilo is back for Juventus (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Danilo is back for Juventus (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Juventus will continue to be without the services of Douglas Costa and Mattia De Sciglio for the game against Bologna, while Giorgio Chiellini remains sidelined. However, manager Sarri has welcomed back Aaron Ramsey and Danilo into his squad after the duo missed the last game with minor injuries.

Sarri has alternated between 4-3-3 and 4-3-1-2 formations since taking over at Juventus. Having used the latter setup more frequently of late, he is expected to stick with it this weekend. Wojciech Szczesny should get the nod in goal ahead of Gianluigi Buffon for the hosts.

In defence, the returning Danilo is expected to return to the right-back slot replacing Juan Cuadrado, while Alex Sandro should continue on the opposite side. Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt should pair up at the heart of the Juventus defence.

Bosnian international Miralem Pjanic will slot in the deepest position in midfield for the Bianconeri and look to dictate play, while Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira will provide the legs on either side of him. Summer signing Aaron Ramsey should slot in the hole behind the two strikers and look to create chances for the hosts.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala are the options at Sarri’s disposal for the two spots in attack. The manager hinted that the Argentine duo, who both scored in the win against Inter, will take the field on Saturday night.

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, de Ligt, Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Ramsey; Dybala, Higuain

Bologna

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Mattia Destro and Mitchell Dijks are ruled out with injuries for Bologna, while Gary Medel is out with a suspension. There is some good news though, as Roberto Soriano is available for selection after serving his suspension.

Manager Sinisa Mihajlovic will set his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with the players likely to be instructed to sit deep and defend and hit Juventus on the counter. Lukasz Skorupski is likely to be a busy man in the Bologna goal. He will be shielded by a back four of Ibrahima Mbaye, Danilo, Stefano Denswil and Ladislav Krejci.

The two-man midfield pivot for the visitors will comprise of Andrea Poli and Blerim Dzemaili, while the returning Roberto Soriano should take up the No. 10 slot against the reigning champions. Flanking him on either side should be youngster Riccardo Orsolini, who joined Bologna from Juventus this past summer, and Nicola Sansone.

Experienced striker Rodrigo Palacio will lead the line for the Rossoblu at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Skorupski, Mbaye, Danilo, Denswil, Krejci; Poli, Dzemaili; Orsolini, Soriano, Sansone; Palacio

Key Stats

  • Juventus have only lost one of their 31 Serie A meetings against Bologna in the 21st century (W22 D8) – a 0-2 defeat in February 2011.
  • Bologna have only won one of their last eight Serie A away games (D4 L3), after having won two of the previous four (L2).
  • Juventus are unbeaten in their last 24 Serie A home games, the longest current run among the teams in the league this season.
  • Bologna have earned just two points from their last four matches – they last failed to win in five games in a row in January 2019.
  • Maurizio Sarri has won seven of his first nine games in charge of Juventus in all competitions (D2); among all Juventus managers since the start of a season, only Carlo Carcano in 1930 and Rino Marchesi in 1986 won more of their first nine with the club (eight).

Player to Watch

Paulo Dybala

Getting back to his best? (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Getting back to his best? (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

After a difficult season last time out, the Argentine attacker is looking like he has regained some confidence in the new campaign. So far in the 2019-20 term, Dybala has scored once in five league matches – in the crucial win against Inter Milan before the international break – and has two assists to his name as well.

The 25-year-old has scored six Serie A goals against Bologna for Juventus. Since joining the Bianconeri, against no other side has Dybala scored more goals in the top-flight and he will be hoping to continue in the same vein of form against the Rossoblu and lead Juventus to another victory on Saturday.

Prediction

Juventus 2-0 Bologna

Juventus are unbeaten this season across all competitions and have won all of their last five matches. Bologna, in contrast, come into the game on the back of a four-game winless run. The Bianconeri have a brilliant record against their opponents this weekend and considering the Rossoblu’s indifferent form, Juve should pick up an easy win at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

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