Juventus will be hoping to resurrect their faltering season when they face off against Parma at the Allianz Stadium in Serie A on Wednesday night.
As the fallout from the announcement and the reported demise of the European Super League continues, Juventus will have the small matter of a Serie A game to take care of as they play hosts to Parma this midweek.
Juventus have been pretty much been at the eye of the storm that was the European Super League, with the Bianconeri president Andrea Agnelli spearheading the project. The players and the manager Andrea Pirlo must now try to avoid all the distraction and keep their sole focus towards ending the season strongly, irrespective of what awaits them after the dust settles on this entire episode.
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuveEN) April 20, 2021
Following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Atalanta over the weekend, Juventus are left fourth in the Serie A standings, four points off of AC Milan in second and thirteen below leaders Inter Milan, with seven games left to be played.
Parma, meanwhile, failed to win each of their last four league games, losing three including the last two. This has left them in the 19th place in the table, ten points off of Benevento in the 17th place. Roberto D’Aversa will, however, be hoping to make the most of Juventus’ current situation and emerge with a positive result on Wednesday.
The reverse fixture had seen Parma get thrashed 4-0 by Juventus with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice while Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata were also among the goals. Ahead of their latest meeting this midweek, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.
Team News & Tactics
Juventus will have to make do without the services of key man Federico Chiesa, who is out with a muscle injury while Federico Bernardeschi also misses out after having tested positive for coronavirus. Apart from that Andrea Pirlo has a full set of squad at his disposal and could make a few changes to the starting XI for Wednesday’s game.
The first of these changes will come in goal where the manager has confirmed that Gianluigi Buffon will get the nod against his former club, Parma. Leonardo Bonucci should come into the starting XI in place of Giorgio Chiellini to partner Matthijs de Ligt, who was one of the few positives against Atalanta last time out. The Brazilian duo of Danilo and Alex Sandro should form the full-back pairing.
Rodrigo Bentancur should make way for Arthur Melo, who has that ability to pick passes from midfield that can unlock defences. Adrien Rabiot will be his partner in the middle of the park.
As a result of Danilo slotting in at right-back, Juan Cuadrado should move to the right side of the midfield four from where he will look to drive forward and hit in crosses for the attackers. Weston McKennie should get the nod on the opposite flank, with the USMNT international drifting in centrally to create space for Sandro to attack on the wings.
The big news, though, is that Cristiano Ronaldo is available again after missing the last game and should slot right back into the starting XI. It will likely come at the expense of Alvaro Morata with Paulo Dybala holding on to his spot in the lineup.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Buffon; Danilo, de Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Cuadrado, Arthur, Rabiot, McKennie; Dybala, Ronaldo
Unlike Juventus, Parma have a host of injury troubles as they will be without as many as eight first-team players for the trip to Turin. Indeed, Wylan Cyprien, Joshua Zirkzee, Roberto Inglese, Simone Iacoponi, Andrea Conti, Juraj Kucka, Andrea Conti, Riccardo Gagliolo and Hans Nicolussi Caviglia are all ruled out.
— Parma Calcio 1913 (@ParmaCalcio_en) April 20, 2021
Roberto D’Aversa will set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of goalkeeper Luigi Sepe. Vincent Laurini and Giuseppe Pezzella will be the two full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively. Both of them are likely to stay deep and play tight alongside the centre-back partnership of Mattia Bani and Yordan Osorio.
Gaston Brugman will line up as the holding midfielder for the visitors with support coming from Jasmin Kurtic and Alberto Grassi, who is likely to edge out Hernani to a starting berth against the reigning champions.
The threat from the wide areas will come from Dennis Man and Valentin Mihaila while Andreas Cornelius gets the nod ahead of Graziano Pelle as the lead striker for Parma this week.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Sepe; Laurini, Bani, Osorio, Pezzella; Grassi, Brugmna, Kurtic; Man, Cornelius, Mihaila
- Juventus are undefeated in 35 of their last 38 home matches in Serie A.
- Parma have failed to win 21 of their last 22 Serie A games.
- Juventus have scored at least two goals in 9 of their last 10 home matches in Serie A.
- Parma have let in at least two goals in 12 of their last 13 league games.
- Juventus have won their last three matches against Parma in all competitions.
Player to Watch
Cristiano Ronaldo Stats this season.
Assists 5 pic.twitter.com/UHRaXZYXvY
— TeamCRonaldo. (@TeamCRonaldo) April 20, 2021
Having missed the last game due to an injury and having seen his team struggle and fall to a defeat, Cristiano Ronaldo will be raring to get back on the field and set things right. The Portuguese maverick sits atop the goalscoring charts in Serie A this term, with 25 goals from 27 games with a ratio of one goal every 91 minutes. At 36 years of age, those numbers are mighty impressive.
However, there have been times when he has gone completely missing with such occasions recurring quite a bit of late, that has affected Juventus’ form and standing in the table. For them to at least have a hope of ending the season as runners-up, they will need Ronaldo to be firing on all cylinders for the remaining games, starting with the clash against Parma.
Juventus 1-0 Parma
Juventus will not be in the best frame of mind entering the game, what with the result of the last game and the European Super League disaster on top of that. However, they are facing a team in turmoil in Parma and will welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back to the fold as well, which should given them just about enough ammunition to bounce back to winning ways.