After a tough defeat against Napoli, Juventus bounced back with a commanding win against Fiorentina and reinstated their three-point lead atop the table over fierce rivals Inter. Hellas Verona, by contrast, are unbeaten in their last seven and most recently recorded a clean sheet against Simone Inzaghi’s high-flying Lazio.
While the bianconeri are going into Verona as favourites, the hosts have proven tough to break down and can go toe-to-toe with any side. In their first game against each other, Juventus came out narrow winners, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo spot-kick. With the return game taking place in Verona, expect it to be a tight affair.
Since making the leap to Serie A, Ivan Juric has implemented an extremely solid 3-4-1-2 formation and has relied on his water-tight defence to get results. Kumbulla, Gunter and Rrahmani have formed an incredible partnership at the back and have led Verona to an unlikely push for European football.
In fact, only Italy’s top three have conceded less goals than Verona this season. Goalkeeper Marco Silvestri deserves his fair share of credit as well, and has been one of the league’s better shot-stoppers this season. With Juventus coming into town, Juric’s resolute defence will have every chance to prove themselves.
Sarri will have to do without Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral at the back while Federico Bernardeschi is a doubt going into Saturday’s affair. Brazilian international Danilo is also expected to miss the clash against Verona.
According to recent reports, Sarri will deploy Douglas Costa alongside Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the only certainty in attack is their Portuguese superstar as Higuain and Ramsey could also get the nod, as per Gazzetta dello Sport.
Otherwise, Sarri appears to be sticking with the midfield trio of Rabiot, Pjanic and Bentancur, with Matuidi making way for his fellow compatriot.
As for Verona, their classic back three of Gunter, Rrahmani and Kumbulla will get the nod. In the midfield, Juric is not looking to shake things up and will likely field Veloso, Lazovic and Amrabat. In attack, it’s currently a toss-up between Zaccagni and Borini while the former is currently rumoured to start.
Juventus: 4-3-3 Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Rabiot; Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo.
3-4-2-1 Silvestri; Rrahmani, Gunter, Kumbulla; Faraoni, Veloso, Amrabat, Lazovic; Pessina, Zaccagni; Verre.
- In their last six clashes against each other, Juventus have emerged victorious four times while Verona won once.
- There have been over 2.5 goals in Juve’s last ten Serie A games.
- Ronaldo has fourteen goals in his last nine Serie A games.
- Verona’s leading goalscorer has three goals on the season. Defence.
While Verona have been resolute at the back all season, they’re coming off a tiring game away from home against Lazio and now have to host an in-form Ronaldo. Considering this, I expect Juventus to extend their lead at the top with a narrow win over Verona. It may not be pretty, but the bianconeri will get it done.
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