Juventus will begin their Coppa Italia trophy defence when they host Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.

Juventus lost in the Supercoppa Italiana last week to arch-rivals Inter Milan after Alexis Sanchez scored a dramatic winner in extra time. The Bianconeri will immediately be back in domestic cup duty when they begin the defence of their Coppa Italia title.

The 14-time winners will begin their journey by hosting Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium. Massimiliano Allegri hopes to use the competition as a distraction from their latest disappointments in the other domestic matches. They did squeeze in a Serie A victory over Udinese on Sunday, and Allegri will feel his side is well-prepared for the Coppa Italia encounter.

Juventus have been on the ascendancy in Serie A, winning six of their last eight games, which has helped them climb up to fifth spot on the table and back into relevance in the race to clinch UEFA Champions League qualification. Having played a game more than leaders Inter Milan who sit at the summit, Juventus find themselves nine points behind the champions.

They might be able to regroup better with a mini-break from league duties as they face a struggling Sampdoria side. Allegri will be hoping to boost his side’s confidence and manage some of the overworked players used for Serie A games.

Sampdoria find themselves closer to the relegation zone after losing all their games since the winter break. It led to the recent sacking of Roberto D’Aversa, with interim coach Andrea Tarozzi looking to steady the ship.

While Sampdoria have been in terrible form at home, their away form should certainly give them some confidence heading into this clash. However, all of their Coppa Italia victories have come on home soil, which will have to change if they seek a positive result against the Bianconeri.

Team News & Tactics

Juventus

After starting a relatively strong team against Inter Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana, Massimiliano Allegri might look to bring in more fringe stars into the equation this midweek. The manager will still look to give some of his important starters a breather, although he will likely go with his veteran pairing at the back.

Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are likely to form the central defensive pairing for this clash. On the injury front, Federico Chiesa is out for at least the remainder of the season with a long-term knee injury and is now joined by Aaron Ramsey, who is out for an indefinite period.

Mattia Perin, who started ahead of Wojciech Szczesny in the Supercoppa Italiana defeat, is likely to play in goal once more. Mattia De Sciglio and Luca Pellegrini will likely reprise the full-back roles.

Despite the transfer rumours surrounding him and the recent withdrawal at half-time against Udinese, Arthur could yet again start the game against Sampdoria. Rodrigo Bentancur will be his midfield partner, while Weston McKennie could be given a more advanced role ahead on the attacking front.

Federico Bernardeschi could start on the right side of the Juventus attack, a position usually belonging to Chiesa. Dejan Kulusevski could switch flanks and begin as the left-winger, while Moise Kean could assume the centre-forward role and lead the line for Juventus.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Perin; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Pellegrini; Arthur, Bentancur; Bernardeschi, McKennie, Kulusevski; Kean

Sampdoria

For this clash, Sampdoria will have to make do without injured trio Mikkel Damsgaard, Maya Yoshida, and Valerio Verre. However, centre-back Julian Chabot will return to the squad, and he could line up at the back, which is a boost for the visitors.

Omar Colley remains away with Gambia at the Africa Cup of Nations. However, Sampdoria could see goalkeeper Emil Audero being passed fit in time for this game despite being forced off against Napoli with a suspected hip injury. However, if he does not recover, Wladimiro Falcone could be in line to take his spot in the lineup.

New arrivals in the window Andrea Conti and Tomas Rincon could get to start yet again as the right-back and central midfielder, respectively, which will give Andrea Tarozzi the opportunity to shape his side in a 4-4-2 formation. Meanwhile, Julian Chabot will not be included in the lineup, meaning there could be a place for Radu Dragusin at the back

Alex Ferrari could partner Dragusin at the heart of the Sampdoria defence, with Conti and Nicola Murru taking up the full-back roles in the team. A midfield four of Antonio Candreva, Rincon, Morten Thorsby and Riccardo Ciervo could be the preferred choice for the away side.

Sampdoria have not included veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella in the squad for this Coppa Italia clash. So, Manolo Gabbiadini is certain to start in a front two, while Francesco Caputo will partner him up front, with Tarozzi hoping to dislodge the Juventus defence with that lineup.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Falcone; Conti, Ferrari, Dragusin, Murru; Candreva, Rincon, Thorsby, Ciervo; Gabbiadini, Caputo

Key Stats

  • Juventus have won each of their last five games against Sampdoria.
  • Juventus have scored at least two goals in their last five games against Sampdoria.
  • Juventus have not lost against Sampdoria at home since 2013.
  • Sampdoria last beat Juventus in 2019 in a Serie A clash.
  • Sampdoria last won a match on 17th December in their Coppa Italia clash against Torino.

Player To Watch

Dejan Kulusevski

Kulusevski might be on the fringes this season under Massimiliano Allegri, with other stars such as Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa outperforming him in a wide inverted forward role. However, the Swede now has the chance to get a thorough run in the team following Chiesa’s long-term injury.

Ideally, Kulusevski is effective from a right-sided wide role, although he will have to re-invent from the opposite flank for most parts. In Chiesa’s absence, there is a grand opening in the side for an attacker to convince Allegri and keep his place for the rest of the season. Kulusevski should take this chance with both hands and fulfil his potential at the club.

Prediction

Juventus 2-0 Sampdoria

There is no denying that Juventus have regained their lost form and progressed well in Serie A. The loss in the Supercoppa Italiana might have been unfortunate for their morale, but they have the perfect opportunity to bounce back and regroup against a struggling Sampdoria side.

Even though Massimiliano Allegri might play his second-string side, he will still have better players than the opposition, at least on paper. Expect Juventus to win this clash comfortably and progress in the competition, with Sampdoria having all the hallmarks of crashing out of the contest.

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