Juventus will be keen on maintaining their three-point lead at the top when they visit Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi to face Hellas Verona on Saturday.
With Inter set to play AC Milan in the derby this weekend, Juventus will be keen on extending their three-point lead at the top of Serie A table when they face Hellas Verona on Saturday. The Bianconeri are coming on the back of a comfortable 3-0 victory over Fiorentina last weekend, though their last away game ended in a 2-1 defeat, at the hands of Napoli.
It would, therefore, be imperative for Juve to return to winning ways, away from home, knowing a draw or defeat against Hellas Verona could allow Inter to possibly regain the top spot in the league table.
Verona are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run in Serie A and have drawn against both Milan and Lazio in their last couple of matches. They are standing ninth in the table, trailing sixth-placed Cagliari by just a point.
Hence, the Yellow and Blues will be confident of their chances of salvaging at least a point against Juventus, especially on their home turf.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of their key fixture this Saturday evening.
Tactics & Team News
Verona coach Ivan Juric has predominantly preferred a 3-4-2-1 formation this season. And fortunately for him, he won’t have to deal with any fresh injuries ahead of the game against Juventus.
This privilege will allow him to retain his back-three, consisting of Amir Rrahmani, Marash Kumbulla and ex-Borussia Dortmund starlet Koray Gunter, who might get the nod ahead of Pawel Dawidowicz.
Verona are expected to sustain their left-sided overload, which means the defender Davide Faraoni is likely to retain his role at right wing-back. He is set to feature in a deeper role, when compared to Darko Lazovic, on the opposite flank. However, it won’t be surprising to see both of them being forced to play in a withdrawn role due to Juventus’ attacking prowess.
In midfield, the experienced Miguel Veloso is a guaranteed starter in the double-pivot, alongside Sofyan Amrabat, who is set to replace Matteo Pessina, after missing the last game due to suspension.
And finally, the Verona attack could again be led by Valerio Verre, with Pessina and Mattia Zaccagni starting just in behind, operating in the first line of press.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Rrahmani, Gunter, Kumbulla; Faraoni, Amrabat, Veloso, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Pessina; Verre
Aaron Ramsey once again had to start on the bench in the last game against Fiorentina. We expect Maurizio Sarri to hand the Welshman a start, in this fixture. Same can be said for Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine is set to feature alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the Juventus attack, with Gonzalo Higuain likely to receive a breather. Ramsey, meanwhile, could operate in the number ten slot, meaning Sarri could revert to a 4-3-1-2 setup.
A little further back, Miralem Pjanic is a guaranteed starter in the number six slot. His ability to circulate possession and dictate the tempo of the game could be crucial, against a Hellas Verona side, who can cause a lot of problems with their aggressive second line of press.
Pjanic is likely to be partnered by Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot, who could once again get the nod ahead of Blaise Matuidi while Sami Khedira is out injured.
In defence, Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt are guaranteed to form the central defensive partnership as both Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral have been sidelined. No changes are expected in the full-back slots either, with Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro retaining their place in the starting lineup.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo
- Juventus have scored in each of their last 13 Serie A meetings against Verona, their longest scoring streak against them in the competition.
- Verona lost their last home league against Juventus and could lose two in a row against them for the first time in their Serie A history.
- Verona are unbeaten in their last seven Serie A games, the last time they had a longest unbeaten run in the competition was back in October 2000.
- Verona are unbeaten in their last three home league games, they last went unbeaten in four in a row in February 2016.
- Juventus have won 54 points in 22 games so far: in the three points for a win era, nine out of the 10 sides to have gained as many points at this stage of the competition eventually won the league – with the only exception being Sarri’s Napoli in the 2017/18 campaign.
Player to Watch
After scoring two goals against Fiorentina, albeit from the penalty spot, Ronaldo could once again be the difference-maker in this fixture. The Portuguese sensation turned 35 a couple of days ago, after which, the forward claimed that he still “had the fitness of a 25-year-old”.
That fitness will be put to the test against a Verona, who have conceded only 23 goals this term – a tally only bettered by Juventus and Inter Milan.
But, at the same time, the hosts should also be careful of Ronaldo’s unrivalled aerial prowess coupled with his clever runs inside the box. Moreover, his seemingly telepathic connection with Dybala is also something worth keeping an eye on this weekend.
Verona 0-1 Juventus
This could turn out to be a tight game, with Verona likely to defend in deep blocks and prevent Juventus from dominating the game in the final third. However, with the visitors having a lot of firepower in the offensive department, we expect them to secure a narrow victory in this one.