Juventus will be looking to keep up the pace with Serie A leaders AC Milan when they lock horns with Parma away from home this weekend.
Reigning champions Juventus will travel to Stadio Ennio Tardini as they gear up to take on Parma on Saturday night in matchweek 13 of the 2020/21 Serie A.
Parma head into the game on the back of a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions, drawing their last three in a row, which included a 2-2 stalemate against leaders AC Milan, while their most recent game was a goalless affair against Cagliari. Fabio Liverani’s men find themselves in the 14th place in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone.
Juventus are unbeaten in Serie A this season and have lost just one of their 18 in all competitions. However, they were held to a 1-1 draw by Atalanta last time out, which prevented them from closing the four-point gap to Milan. Currently third, Andrea Pirlo & co. must ensure no points are dropped this weekend, with the likes of AS Roma and Napoli breathing down their necks.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-0 win for Juventus courtesy a Giorgio Chiellini strike halfway through the first half. And, ahead of their latest meeting on Saturday night, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Nicolussi Caviglia picked up an ACL injury earlier this week and is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines. Parma are also likely to be without Giuseppe Pezzella and Matteo Scozzarella, who picked up muscular injuries in the game against Cagliari. Alberto Grassi, Valentin Mihaila and Vincent Laurini are also major doubts for the game.
Liverani is expected to set his team up in a 4-3-3 setup with Luigi Sepe a certain starter between the sticks for the hosts. He will be protected by the four-man defence comprising of Simone Iacoponi and Riccardo Gagliolo as the full-backs with Yordan Osorio and Bruno Alves at the centre.
Gaston Brugman should sit in as the holding midfielder and look to disrupt the flow of Juventus’s build-up play, with support from coming from summer signing Hernani. The third slot in the middle of the park could likely be occupied by Juraj Kucka, who will have the licence to push forward and support the attackers.
Yann Karamoh should get the nod over Juan Brunetta on the right flank, while top-scorer Gervinho, who has four goals so far this term in Serie A is a certainty on the left. Leading the line for Parma against Juventus should be Andreas Cornelius, with Roberto Inglese an option from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Sepe; Iacoponi, Osorio, Alves, Gagliolo; Hernani, Brugman, Kucka; Karamoh, Cornelius, Gervinho
Arthur Melo is a doubt for the game after picking up a thigh injury in midweek against Atalanta. Juventus are also likely to be without defender Merih Demiral while Giorgio Chiellini is back in training and had been named in the squad for the game against Atalanta.
While Pirlo has used a 4-4-2 formation in recent games, the Juventus boss could opt to switch to a 3-4-1-2 on Saturday night, with Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt and Danilo forming the three-man backline shielding Wojciech Szczesny, who was excellent in midweek, in between the sticks.
𝙿𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚏𝚘𝚛 #𝙿𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚊𝙹𝚞𝚟𝚎 💪🏃♂️
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 17, 2020
Juan Cuadrado and Federico Chiesa, who was on the scoresheet against Atalanta last time out, should start as the wing-backs on the right and left sides, respectively. Adrien Rabiot should come into the side in place of Arthur, partnering Rodrigo Bentancur, with Weston McKennie getting a rest.
Dejan Kulusevski could be in line for a rare start in the hole behind the two forwards, who ought to be Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata, with the duo looking to bounce back with a strong showing after a profligate display against Atalanta.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Szczesny; Bonucci, de Ligt, Danilo; Cuadrado, Rabiot, Bentancur, Chiesa; Kulusevski; Morata, Ronaldo
- Juventus have won six of their last eight Serie A matches against Parma (D1 L1), including their last two away games in a row against them.
- Parma have failed to score in three of their last six home games against Juventus in Serie A, having scored 17 times in their first 19 such games against the Bianconeri in the top-flight.
- Juventus have failed to keep a clean sheet away from home in Serie A since June when they beat Bologna 2-0. They are currently on an eleven-game run without a shutout on the road in the league.
- Among teams they have faced more than twice at home in the Serie A, Parma have the worst win percentage against Juventus (28%), having won just 7 of their 25 games.
- Juventus have won each of their last six meetings against Parma in their first of the two season meetings, keeping four clean sheets in the process.
Player to Watch
Morata tried to be cheeky, but missed a glorious chance instead! pic.twitter.com/fYex80hgva
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 16, 2020
Back at Juventus in the summer, Alvaro Morata has quickly become an essential player in Andrea Pirlo’s setup, bagging nine goals and five assists from 15 matches across all competitions, with his agent going on to claim that the Bianconeri will trigger the €45 million purchase clause to make his transfer permanent next summer.
The Spaniard has impressed in general this season. However, his performance against Atalanta saw him produce one of the worst misses of the season, which left Pirlo angry, and showed that there is still plenty of work to be done for him to become an elite striker. And, Morata will be aiming to produce a strong reaction after his wasteful display in midweek.
Parma 1-2 Juventus
Parma have done considerably well recently, showing that they are a solid team that will be hard to break down for teams. However, they will be coming up against a Juventus team that, after a sluggish start under Andrea Pirlo, is finally starting to tick.
Considering the Bianconeri’s recent form and their dominant record at Stadio Ennio Tardini, The Hard Tackle is predicting a 2-1 win for Andrea Pirlo’s side. However, their search for a clean sheet away from home in the league is unlikely to come to an end on Saturday night.