Juventus will be keen to make it two wins out of two in Serie A when they travel to take on Sampdoria on Monday night.
Italian giants Juventus were far from their marauding best last season but got their 2022/23 campaign off to a brilliant start with a 3-0 win over Sassuolo in their Serie A opener last weekend.
Angel Di Maria and Dusan Vlahovic appeared to have struck a right chord and looked set to take the league by storm. However, an injury to the Argentine has brought about a temporary halt to the budding partnership. Juventus now travel to the Luigi Ferraris Stadium to face a Sampdoria side that is coming off a 2-0 loss in the opening weekend against Atalanta.
Marco Giampaolo’s side did reasonably well against La Dea but lacked the cutting edge to make a difference in the final third. It is the exact opposite of the Bianconeri, who haven’t exactly been dominant but have shown their quality in taking their chances.
Massimiliano Allegri led Juventus to their first trophyless season in 2021/22 since the 2010/11 campaign. He will be keen to get the Turin giants back to their perch but face competition from the Milan giants. Inter Milan and AC Milan are both ahead of Juventus, and the Bianconeri cannot afford to drop any cheap points.
Juventus have won their opening two games of the season eight times over the last 12 campaigns. Each time they did so, the Bianconeri went on to secure the Serie A title. Allegri will hope that the omens will favour him once again.
It promises to be an interesting game between two sides who on their day can hurt each other. The visitors have had the upper hand over I Blucerchiati in the recent past and won the corresponding fixture last season by a scoreline of 3-1. Allegri will be hoping for more of the same on Monday night.
The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.
Team News & Tactics
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Giampaolo’s side gave a decent account of themselves on the opening weekend of the 2022/23 Serie A season against Atalanta but came away with nothing to show for their efforts. They will now play their second home game in a row and will be keen to stop Juventus in their tracks.
Sampdoria have a fully fit squad to choose from following Manolo Gabbiadini’s return against Atalanta. Having escaped relegation by a mere six points last season, I Blucerchiati will need to make the Luigi Ferraris a fortress and attempt to gain maximum points at home. Losing two on the bounce could prove decisive come to the end of the campaign.
The hosts will look to keep things simple and isolate Dusan Vlahovic upfront. They are likely to set up in a 4-1-4-1 formation that will look to overload the midfield by the sheer weight of numbers. The objective will be to keep things simple and hold Juventus off for as long as possible.
Emil Audero will start in goal behind a rigid back four of Tommaso Augello, Omar Colley, Alex Ferrari and Bartosz Bereszynski. Ronaldo Vieira will be tasked with anchoring the midfield, with Abdelhamid Sabiri and Tomas Rincon keeping things tight in the middle of the park. This could allow Filip Djuricic and Mehdi Leris to push forward and catch Juventus off guard.
Veteran striker Francesco Caputo will be tasked with leading the line and will hope to emulate his heroics from last season. With Leonardo Bonnuci unavailable, the Sampdoria star could find some joy on the night.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Colley, Augello; Vieira; Leris, Rincon, Sabiri, Djuricic; Caputo
Allegri has a far from clean bill of health and will be without summer signings Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria. Skipper Leonardo Bonucci will travel with the squad but is unlikely to feature on the night. Wojciech Szczesny and Federico Chiesa are also out.
It is not all bad news as Moise Kean and Adrien Rabiot return from suspension. The latter has seen his move to Manchester United break apart and is now set to start against Sampdoria. Allegri has in no uncertain terms confirmed the Frenchman’s participation on Monday.
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Allegri is likely to deploy his side in a 4-3-3 formation as it offers him enough tactical flexibility to shift things around if needed. Mattia Perin will start in goal, while Daniele Rugani is likely to step in for Bonucci to partner summer signing Gleison Bremer at the heart of the defence. Alex Sandro and Danilo will start in the full-back positions.
Manuel Locatelli will once again start in central midfield with Denis Zakaria and Rabiot partnering him. Filip Kostic could make his full debut on the night and will aid Dusan Vlahovic, who will lead the line. Juan Cuadrado will occupy the right-wing and will be keen to impress following a dud against Sassuolo.
Having key players out will not make life easier for Allegri, but his side certainly has the upper hand in terms of quality. Having Kostic and Cuadrado will also ensure that Vlahovic will not be isolated from service.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Perin; Danilo, Rugani, Bremer, Sandro; Zakaria, Locatelli, Rabiot; Cuadrado, Vlahovic, Kostic
- Juventus have won their last six Serie A games against Sampdoria. It is their longest such streak against the Genoans in the Italian top flight.
- Both sides have not drawn a Serie A game since 2014. Juventus have won 13 since, with Sampdoria coming out on top twice.
- Juventus have won away to Sampdoria by at least two goals in their last three trips. The last time they managed to put together such a tally was over four games from 1973-77.
- A Juventus shutout on the night will see Sampdoria failing to find the back of the net in Serie A for three consecutive games. This will be their worst run since being goalless over three games in 2016.
- Juventus have won their opening two games of the season eight times over the last 12 seasons. Every season they have done so, they went on to win the Scudetto.
Player to Watch
It is difficult to see anyone, but the Serbian make a difference for Juventus on Monday. He scored twice on opening day and looked sharp in the box. With Paulo Dybala gone and Di Maria injured, the onus to perform will be on Vlahovic on the night.
Kostic is likely to provide him with ample support on the left, while Zakaria and Rabiot will also make forays forward. With Cuadrado also delivering one cross after another, Vlahovic could have a field day.
A clinical finisher, his ability to find the back of the net irrespective of the opposition has brought Juventus much joy over the past few months. It is unlikely that the Bianconeri will find the back of the net on the night without their giant Serbian playing an active role.
Sampdoria 1-2 Juventus
Despite their injuries, Juventus are still a far stronger side on paper and will go into the game as favourites. While the Bianconeri have been rather unconvincing of late, the presence of a clinical goalscorer in Vlahovic has seen them come away with three points more often than not. The Serbian is likely to once again be the difference between both sides on Monday night. Anything lesser than all three points will be seen as an opportunity missed by the visitors.