Juventus are hoping to bounce back to winning form in Serie A as they lock horns with Hellas Verona at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday night.
Juventus will be looking to kickstart their recovery after a poor start to the campaign as they play hosts to Hellas Verona on Sunday.
The reigning Italian champions have dropped four points in their opening four matches so far, with their most recent debacle coming against Crotona as they were held to a 1-1 draw last weekend. However, the Old Lady did secure a convincing 2-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv in the midweek UEFA Champions League group stage fixture.
Replicate that performance could be critical this weekend as Juventus look to some ground, knowing anything other than a win should allow AC Milan to extend their impress early lead. The Rossoneri have notably won all four of their matches so far.
Verona, meanwhile, are slouch and have had a promising start to the campaign, having secured seven points in four matches. It essentially means that a surprise win on Sunday could potentially put them ahead of Juventus in the league table.
It could be an ideal time for Verona to cause an upset as well, knowing their weekend opponent, could line up with a significantly weaker side due to upcoming Champions League match against Barcelona. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this enticing encounter in Serie A tomorrow.
Tactics & Team News
As mentioned earlier, Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo will have one eye on the key Champions League fixture against Barcelona next week so we can expect him to rest some of his most important players.
🎙 @Pirlo_official's meeting with the journalists has begun.
"We are well. Apart from @chiellini, they're all available. We still await @Cristiano's swap test results. For now, there's no news. #AlexSandro is recovering, he is working calmly."#JuveVerona pic.twitter.com/MeVYvLM9jj
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 24, 2020
Cristiano Ronaldo is already out quarantined, along with Weston McKennie while Giorgio Chiellini picked up an injury in midweek. Federico Chiesa is another absentee as he is suspended after picking up a red card in his debut last week.
On the bright side of things, Pirlo did confirm that Matthijs de Ligt is physically and mentally ready to get back into the action. He also suggested that Federico Bernardeschi could be contention while promising a start for Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine is more than likely to spearhead the Juventus attack alongside Alvaro Morata. They could receive additional creative support from Aaron Ramsey in the number ten role.
Meanwhile, in defence, Merih Demiral should slot in, at the expense of the Chiellini, forming the three-man backline alongside Leonardo Bonucci and Danilo.
Elsewhere, Alex Sandro is still in recovery so Dejan Kulusevski may have to operate at left wingback, especially with Chiesa out suspended. Juan Cuadrado could similarly operate on the opposite flank, with Arthur Melo and Rodrigo Bentancur forming the double-pivot.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Szczesny; Bonucci, de Ligt, Demiral; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Arthur, Kulusevski; Ramsey; Dybala, Morata.
Hellas Verona won’t have to deal with such a congested fixture list like Juventus. They are, however, missing out on some of their key players including Marco Benassi, Andrea Danzi and Mert Cetin while Koray Gunter and Antonin Barak are quarantined.
— Hellas Verona FC (@HellasVeronaFC) October 23, 2020
Hellas boss Ivan Juric is most likely to come up with a similar lineup as Juve, looking to prevent his opponent from having the numerical advantage in midfield by deploying five players in the middle of the park, although the slightly advanced midfielder in Mattia Zacagni will mostly be in charge of providing the creative essence in the final third.
Therefore, the onus will be on Ivan Ilic and Adrien Tameze to provide the solidity in Verona’s second line of press, though they are expected to receive additional support from the wingbacks in Marco Faraoni and Darko Lazovic.
These two could also play a key role in providing defensive cover for the back three of Alan Empereur, Matteo Lovato and Federico Ceccherini.
And finally, in the attack, Nikola Kalinic may return to the side as his experience and scoring prowess could be useful in a fixture where Verona aren’t likely to get too many opportunities. So it will be up to Kalinic and Ebrima Colley to provide productivity in the final third this weekend.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Silvestri; Empereur, Ceccherini, Lovato; Faraoni, Ilic, Tameze, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Colley, Kalinic.
- Juventus have scored in each of their last 14 Serie A matches against Verona – however, the Bianconeri lost the last time the two sides met.
- Juventus have faced Verona on home soil more than any other current Serie A sie without ever losing.
- Excluding the first four MDs, Juventus will head into a game having started the day outside of the top four for the first time since December 2015.
- Since the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign, Juventus have lost only one of the 40 home games they have played in Serie A; among the ever-present sides across the Top-5 European leagues since the start of 2018/19, only Liverpool (0) have lost fewer games on home soil.
- Verona are on the longest run (12 games) without an away win among current Serie A sides. They last went on a longer run without an away victory in the top-flight in March 2016.
Player to Watch
Paulo Dybala is sure to attract the spotlight as he looks to kickstart the 2020/21 campaign after missing out a chunk of these early parts of the season due to illness.
The Argentine is, in fact, yet to feature in a single game in Serie A so far and only made a substitute appearance in the Champions League clash with Dynamo Kyiv. And with Cristiano Ronaldo likely to be out, the onus will be on him to provide the creativity going forward for Juventus this weekend.
It will be particularly interesting to see how Dybala settles in alongside Morata as both of them used to be a similar type of attackers. Pirlo, during the pre-match conference, sounded rather optimistic when asked about these two playing together so it is certainly an aspect to keep an eye on, in this fixture.
Juventus 2-0 Hellas Verona
Juventus clearly haven’t been at their best this season. But, they do possess a remarkable record at home and are coming on the back of a morale-boosting win in the last game. So we expect the Bianconeri to seal an equally comfortable victory over Verona this weekend.