MX23RW : Sunday, September 19 21:55:25| >> :60:691:691:
Dec 15, 2019 at 2pm UK at Allianz Stadium (Torino)
Attendance: 39,127
Ronaldo (9', 37'), Bonucci (45')
FT(HT: 3-0)
Pussetto (94')

Preview: Juventus vs. Udinese - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Juventus and Udinese, including team news and predicted lineups.

Juventus will be looking to bounce back from their first Serie A defeat of the season when they welcome Udinese to the Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Last weekend's 3-1 loss at Lazio saw Juve remain second in the table behind Inter Milan, while Udinese are currently 16th in Italy's top flight with just 15 points to show from their 15 matches.

Match preview

Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt celebrates with Blaise Matuidi and teammates after the match against Torino on November 2, 2019© Reuters

It is difficult to be too critical of Juve considering that they have won 11 and lost just one of their 15 league matches this season. However, back-to-back disappointing results in Italy's top flight have seen them drop to second spot in the table behind Antonio Conte's Inter Milan.

Indeed, Maurizio Sarri's side were held to a 2-2 draw by Sassuolo on December 1 before suffering a 3-1 defeat at in-form Lazio last weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo sent the champions ahead in Rome, but the home side hit back in impressive fashion to continue their own excellent run of results.

Juve are now just three points clear of third-placed Lazio, and it does appear that the Old Lady will face a serious battle to retain the title this season, which has not been the case in recent campaigns.

Sarri's side did return to winning ways during the week, though, as they rounded off their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 2-0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen courtesy of two late goals.

The Turin giants will now be looking to put an important three points on the board ahead their final Serie A match of 2019 away to Sampdoria on Wednesday night.

Udinese's Rodrigo De Paul in action against Inter Milan in December, 2018© Reuters

Udinese have not managed to finish in the top half of Serie A since the 2012-13 campaign, and it does appear that the team will be in for another tough season having struggled for consistency this term.

A return of just 15 points from as many matches has left them in 16th spot in the table, just four points clear of the relegation zone heading into the latest round of fixtures in Italy's top flight.

Only basement side SPAL (9) have scored fewer league goals than Udinese (10) this season, while they are without a victory in the league since a 3-1 success away to Genoa at the start of November.

That said, after a 3-0 loss at Lazio on December 1, the White and Blacks managed to pick up a point at home to Napoli last weekend. Luca Gotti remains in charge of the club on an interim basis, and it would be some story if the 52-year-old could lead the team to a win over Juve this weekend.

Udinese have not overcome the Old Lady since August 2015, though, losing each of the last four Serie A meetings between the two sides, including a 4-1 defeat in the corresponding clash last term.

Juventus Serie A form: WWWWDL
Juventus form (all competitions): WWWDLW

Udinese Serie A form: LWDLLD
Udinese form (all competitions): WDLLWD

Team News

Paulo Dybala in action for Juventus on May 12, 2019© Reuters

Sarri will be unable to call upon either Juan Cuadrado or Miralem Pjanic this weekend with the former sent off against Lazio and the latter picking up another yellow card in the same game to equal a suspension.

Giorgio Chiellini and Sami Khedira remain on the treatment table, although there is a chance that Douglas Costa and Aaron Ramsey could recover from their injuries to make the squad.

Rodrigo Bentancur and Matthijs de Ligt are also available despite injury concerns, while Adrien Rabiot could be in line for another start in the middle of the park having been included against Leverkusen.

The only other major talking point surrounds whether Gonzalo Higuain or Paulo Dybala partners Ronaldo in the final third of the field and the former is currently being tipped to make the XI.

As for Udinese, Ken Sema and Mato Jajalo are still on the treatment table, but the strugglers did not pick up any fresh injuries in the 1-1 draw with Napoli last weekend.

As a result, it would not be a surprise to see the same side sent onto the field due to the nature of the performance, with Stefano Okaka and Kevin Lasagna lining up in the final third. Rodrigo De Paul will also feature in the middle of the park alongside Rolando Mandragora and Seko Fofana.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Matuidi, Bentancur, Rabiot; Bernardeschi; Ronaldo, Higuain

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Maio, Troost-Ekong, Nuytinck; Avest, De Paul, Mandragora, Fofana, Larsen; Lasagna, Okaka

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We say: Juventus 2-0 Udinese

Juve will be determined to return to winning ways in Italy's top flight following a couple of disappointing results, and we are finding it difficult to predict anything other than a routine home victory.

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