Juventus will look to get back to winning ways as they return to Serie A action against minnows Salernitana.

Turin giants Juventus will return to Serie A action this weekend following their hard-fought 2-1 loss to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League earlier this week.

In a game of two halves, the Italians weathered the storm in the opening 45 minutes before mounting a spirited albeit unsuccessful fightback in the second half. Ths hunger and desire that the squad showed as a whole at the Parc des Princes will be something that Massimiliano Allegri seeks to channel in the coming weeks.

A home game against Salernitana allows the Bianconeri to settle in and rediscover their winning touch. Juventus are currently four points off table toppers Atalanta and cannot afford to drop any more points, especially at home. Doing so could do irreparable damage to their charge for the Scudetto.

Salernitana have picked up six points, a reasonable haul from the opening five games given their struggles last season. A surprise win on the night will see them draw level with Juventus on points in the Serie A standings. The Bianconeri have shown themselves to have a soft underbelly when teams attack them head-on, and it is something that Salernitana are better off doing.

The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics might be employed.

Team News & Tactics

Juventus

The Bianconeri go into the game as one of the four Serie A sides that are yet to be beaten in the league this season. However, with just two wins in five, they have been far from convincing.

Massimiliano Allegri also has several injuries to contend with to key players and will once again have to put out a side that is far from full strength. Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa are long-term absentees and are joined on the sidelines by Kaio Jorge and Marley Ake. Wojciech Szczesny is still out meaning Mattia Perin will deservedly continue in goal.

Summer signing Angel Di Maria is not yet ready to retake the field, while Manuel Locatelli is still down with fatigue. With a crucial UEFA Champions League tie against SL Benfica next week, Allegri must rotate his squad this weekend. The Italian is likely to deploy his side in a 4-4-2 formation with some changes to give his players a breather.

Perin will start behind a back four of Mattia De Sciglio, Gleison Bremer, Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro. Leandro Paredes will reprise his midfield role and could be joined by the likes of Weston McKennie and Nicolo Fagiolo. Filip Kostic should hold onto his spot on the left and will look to link up with Sandro to overwhelm the Salernitana right flank.

Dusan Vlahovic is in line to start, but Arkadiusz Milik could be handed a rest on the night. This could see Moise Kean come into the starting lineup for the game. Allegri will hope that he will not have to bring on his Polish ace off the bench to turn the tide of the game.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2):  Perin; De Sciglio, Rugani, Bremer, Sandro; McKennie, Paredes, Fagioli, Kostic; Vlahovic, Kean

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Salernitana

Davide Nicola has done a decent job at the Italian minnows and has already put up six points on the board. This will certainly aid them in the race to avoid the drop this season, perhaps even boosting chances of a mid-table finish.

I Granata have several players missing of their own, and this will make their job in Turin harder. Veteran stars Franck Ribery and Ivan Radovanovic will miss out while Matteo Lovato and Emil Bohinen are also unavailable making Nicola’s job even more difficult.

Salernitana are likely to deploy in a 3-5-2 formation and could get stuck in from the word go. Luigi Sepe will start in goal behind a back three of Federico Fazio, Norbert Gyomber and Dylan Bronn. Antonio Candreva and Pasquale Mazzocchi will start on the wings and will be tasked with keeping Juventus quiet on the flank. This is especially true for the former given Kostic’s impressive form.

Giulio Maggiore will start as the defensive lynchpin in midfield and star along with Lassana Coulibaly and Tonny Vilhena in the middle of the park. The impressive Boulaye Dia is set to start upfront alongside Federico Bonazzoli.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Sepe; Fazio, Gyomber, Bron; Candreva, Coulibaly, Maggiore, Vilhena, Mazzocchi; Bonazzoli, Dia 

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Key Stats

  • Juventus have won four of their last six games against Salernitana and have kept five clean sheets in the process.
  • Salernitana have lost all six Serie A away games against teams from Piemonte.
  • The last time Salernitana scored an away goal against a team from Piemonte was in 1947 vs Torino.
  • Juventus have failed to win consecutive Serie A games at home since March 2022.
  • Juventus have found the back of the net in the first ten minutes in their last three Serie A games. This is their longest such run in that category.
  • Boulaye Dia is the first player in Salernitana’s history to have scored three goals in the club’s first five games in Serie A.
  • Should Antonio Candreva score on the night, he will become the first player to score for seven different Serie A teams.

Player to Watch

Dusan Vlahovic

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The Serbian has failed to find the back of the net in the last two games and will be gnawing at the edges to get back onto the scoring charts. Arguably the best number nine in the Italian top flight, Vlahovic represents Bianconeri‘s most potent offensive threat and will cause Salernitana trouble on the night.

Strong in the air and solid with the ball at his feet, Vlahovic has built up a solid rapport with Arkadiusz Milik upfront. The ability to make something out of nothing and also be clinical when presented with an opportunity makes him the standout player to keep an eye out for in the game.

Prediction

Juventus 2-0 Salernitana

The Bianconeri go into the game as favourites and should finally win consecutive home games in Serie A for the first time since March. Massimiliano Allegri’s men have the quality and the strength in depth to get the better of their opponents, and it should show on the pitch this Sunday. Anything less than a convincing win should call into question Juventus’s role as a title challenger this season.

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