Newly promoted Benevento host defending champions Juventus in a clash where two legends of the game, Inzaghi and Pirlo, go head to head on the touchline.

Juventus travel to Benevento as they look to build on their two-match unbeaten run. Juventus hosted Ferencvaros in midweek where they narrowly won in the dying minutes of the game and secured qualification to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

And, they’d be hoping to put that scare behind them and produce a convincing performance versus the Serie A minnows. The Bianconeri have won only one of their last eight domestic away games and have conceded at least once in each of their last nine league matches. They will need to put in a real shift if they are to keep up with the flying AC Milan at the top of the table.

Benevento, on the other hand, picked up an important win versus Fiorentina as they ended their four-game losing streak. Currently placed 14th, Filippo Inzaghi’s men have done well to remain out of the relegation zone so far. It will be criminal to underestimate Benevento who have the capability of taking advantage of Juventus’ woes.

Team News & Tactics

Benevento

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Having made a decent start to life in the Italian top flight, Benevento have done well to meet their expectations this season. Coming into matchday 9, Inzaghi has a host of absentees for the game. Bryan Dabo has tested positive for coronavirus while Gaetano Letizia joins Massimo Volta on the sidelines. Iago Falque and Daam Foulon also miss out.

Inzaghi will be hoping to have most of the team that defeated Fiorentina available for him. Gianluca Caprari provides a bonus to Benevento as he returns from a two-match suspension. Gianluca Lapadula is expected to lead the line-up, the striker is in fine form this season having notched up 5 goal contributions in 8 games.

Pasquale Schiattarella is expected to start alongside last week’s goalscorer Riccardo Improta in the middle of the park, while the experienced Kamil Glik will lead the defence.

Probable Lineup (4-3-2-1): Montipo; Maggio, Caldirola, Glik, Barba; Improta, Schiattarella, Ionita; Caprari, Insigne; Lapadula

Juventus

Pirlo could yet again be without three key members of his defensive contingent. Merih Demiral is expected to be out for another two games, and Giorgio Chiellini joins him on the sidelines. Leonardo Bonucci is reportedly in line to feature but his appearance would be down to a late fitness test.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been rested for the game against Benevento (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been rested for the game against Benevento (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Having started Juventus’ last 4 games and after a heavy international break, a rest is on the cards for Cristiano Ronaldo. Paulo Dybala has struggled for form so far this season but with Ronaldo rested for the journey to Benevento, Dybala should partner the in-form Alvaro Morata. Dejan Kulusevski is also expected to start in behind the front two and help in making it a lethal front three.

A midfield duo of Adrien Rabiot and Rodrigo Bentancur and is on the cards, with a rare start to Gianluca Frabotta as well. Alex Sandro and De Ligt are expected to continue in the three-man backline, along with Danilo. However, if Bonucci is declared fit, we could see Juventus revert back to a back four. This could allow Federico Chiesa to earn a start as well.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Frabotta; Kulusevski; Dybala, Morata

Key Stats

  • Benevento have 3 wins from 8 matches this season which is the same number of wins that they had after 29 matches in the 2017/18 season.
  • Juventus have failed to win 3 of their last 4 matches versus newly-promoted teams.
  • Juventus have only won 1 of their last 8 away Serie A matches – a 4-1 victory versus Spezia.
  • Juventus have the best defence in the league this season, conceding only 6 goals. Benevento, meanwhile, have the worst – shipping 20 goals already this season.
  • Only Sassuolo (5) have scored more goals from outside the box than Benevento in Serie A this season (4). However, Juventus haven’t conceded a single goal from outside the box thus far.

Player to Watch

Alvaro Morata

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After an underwhelming performance versus Cagliari last weekend, Alvaro Morata stepped up in the Champions League fixture versus Ferencvaros as he grabbed the late winner and ensured Juventus’ qualification to the next round. Morata has been in fine touch this season, notching up 7 goals and 3 assists in all competitions already.

The former Real Madrid striker should be high on confidence after that performance in midweek and is likely to grab a goal or an assist versus a struggling Benevento defence.

Prediction

Benevento 1-3 Juventus

Juventus’ performance against Cagliari last week was impressive, which was followed by a hard-fought win against Ferencvaros. Going up against the worst defence in the competition this season, it could be a field day for Morata, while it might also help Dybala get back in some form. Despite a poor away record in recent times, Juventus are likely to take the three points from this fixture.

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