Preview: Juventus vs Empoli – prediction, team news, lineups
Having stumbled on opening day, Juventus will be under pressure to claim their first win of the new season when they take on the promoted Empoli on Saturday.
After a week of intense speculation about the future of their biggest star, Juve host the Serie B champions in Turin before the next international break.
A remarkable finish to their first game of the 2021-22 season saw Juventus leave Udine with just one point last weekend as they blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.
The frenzied buzz surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s unexpected bench was taken out of the game as Juve went ahead with well-crafted goals from the rejuvenated Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado, this season playing a more advanced role on the wing, but the tie at the 83 minutes of Gerard Deulofeu tied Udinese.
To bring a dramatic afternoon to a crescendo, Ronaldo appeared from the bench to seemingly headline a trademark winner, only to be turned away after a lengthy VAR check as he was declared slightly offside.
Seeking a quick start to the Scudetto’s recovery, lost to arch-rival Inter in May after nine years of uninterrupted success, returning coach Max Allegri will have to keep the boat steady amid other turbulent days at a club that rarely goes out. of the headlines.
Fortunately, or perhaps not, given the potential for calamity, Juventus have a 79% winning percentage against Empoli, coming out victorious in 19 of their last 24 meetings and winning 11 of their 12 home games against the Tuscan team in Serie A. In fact, the Bianconeri did not even concede a single goal on nine of those occasions, an indicator of the nature of David against Goliath in this weekend’s game.
Although the departure of a certain striker has garnered attention, Allegri will have seen something promising in the opening hour at the Dacia Arena last time, as Cuadrado’s return to attacking service after a mid-career change to a leading role. The midfielder has seen the Colombian score his third goal in his last three league games, as many as in his previous 85.
Prepared to make their 300th appearance in Serie A on Saturday night, Cuadrado’s side game and his young colleague Federico Chiesa, who only managed to play off the bench against Udinese, will ally with Manuel Locatelli’s impact on the midfield; him leaving his opponents with much to fear before his trip to Turin.
Empoli, who also found his way under new management, fell in a 3-1 loss at home to Lazio on opening day, handing coach Aurelio Andreazzoli his first competitive loss after a Coppa Italia victory began his reigned the week before.
It all started off very well for the Azzurri, who clinched the Serie B title in style last season as they took an early lead on Filippo Bandinelli’s goal in the fourth minute, but eventually fainted to end up empty-handed in front. to your local fans.
Any hope of staying afloat at the highest level probably won’t rest in games against the division’s heavyweights like Juve, but Andreazzoli will still have hope of putting up a fight at Allianz Stadium, particularly as his hosts don’t have managed to kill the lowest. Teams ranked multiple times in the past 12 months.
A seasoned activist, now in his third spell at Castellani, the former Roma assistant has bolstered the Tuscan club’s promotion-winning team by adding Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Patrick Cutrone to his attacking force on loan, as The former Milan player seeks to relive a drifting career while returning to his homeland.
Inter’s young striker Andrea Pinamonti will also join his former Italian U21 colleague this week, having signed a temporary contract to gain experience outside of the champions’ attacking department. The pair, allied to last season’s top scorer Leonardo Mancuso, could be an integral part of Empoli’s dreams of a surprising result in perhaps their toughest game of the year.
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Bentancur, Locatelli, Bernardeschi; Chiesa, Morata, Dybala
Empoli possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Stojanovic, Ismajli, Romagnoli, Marchizza; Ricci, Stulac, Bandinelli; Bajrami; Mancuso, Cutrone