MX23RW : Thursday, March 4 16:12:13| >> :60:638:638:
Jan 24, 2021 at 11.30am UK at Juventus Stadium
JuventusJuventus
2-0
BolognaBologna
Arthur (15'), McKennie (71')
Kulusevski (21'), Chiellini (47'), Arthur (52')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Vignato (14'), Dijks (62')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Juventus and Bologna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After claiming the season's first silverware on Wednesday night, Juventus await the visit of lowly Bologna on Sunday, aiming to get their Scudetto defence back on track.

Having lifted the Supercoppa Italiana following victory over Napoli, sixth-placed Juve will now seek to recover from a chastening defeat to Inter Milan last time out in Serie A.


Match preview

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates winning the Italian Super Cup on January 20, 2021© Reuters

Juventus have picked up 33 league points throughout a so far inconsistent campaign, which represents their joint-lowest tally at this stage in the last decade - a period during which they have dominated Calcio, with nine successive Scudetti to prove it.

Their most troublesome issues under rookie coach Andrea Pirlo have been a disjointed midfield and in defence, where the Bianconeri have curiously kept just three clean sheets to date - despite having one of the best 'goals conceded' columns on the peninsula.

Certainly, that is where their weaknesses were exposed by the ruthless counter-attacking of experienced Inter last week, as Pirlo's men capitulated in the Derby d'Italia.

Subsequent victory in the Supercoppa has proved a pleasant distraction from their recent travails, as they have slipped ten points off the furious pace set by would-be 'Winter Champions' Milan - albeit with a game in hand.

Ahead of next week's eminently winnable Coppa Italia quarter-final tie with Serie B side SPAL, Bologna's visit would appear to present a perfect opportunity to keep the pressure on in the Milan clubs' rear-view mirror - with the Emilian outfit a regular whipping boy for the Old Lady.

During their superb streak of nine consecutive league-winning seasons, Juventus have gone unbeaten against Bologna in Serie A - winning 13 and drawing three of their 16 meetings.

Bologna's Riccardo Orsolini in action with Inter Milan's Dalbert Henrique in Serie A on February 3, 2019© Reuters

Last week, Bologna finally ended an eight-round winless streak by getting the better of Verona, as Riccardo Orsolini struck the only goal from the penalty spot.

As a measure of the former Juventus winger's influence, each of the Rossoblu's five league wins this term have come with the twice-capped Italy international on the pitch, while in their four games without him, Bologna have collected just two points.

If coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was looking to build momentum on the back of a first success in several weeks, he would have been quickly disheartened by a glance at the fixture list; after travelling to Turin this week, next time they host Milan.

There is little secret about why his side lie outside the top half of the table, because they have conceded 31 goals so far - the same number they had let in at this stage last year. On only three previous occasions have the Rossoblu shipped more in the first half of a campaign - and there still remains 90 minutes to face against Cristiano Ronaldo and company.

Furthermore, they have claimed only six points on the road, with their only away win in 2020-21 coming against Sampdoria at the end of November.

Mihajlovic hailed his team's renewed determination and "desperation to win at all costs" in what was a merited win over consistent Verona at Dall'Ara. Without doubt, Bologna will have to match such intensity and desire again on Sunday, as they enter the Allianz Stadium as seriously unfancied underdogs.

Juventus Serie A form: WLWWWL
Juventus form (all competitions): WWWWLW

Bologna Serie A form: DDDDLW


Team News

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo pictured on January 3, 2021© Reuters

Andrea Pirlo's defensive mini-crisis began to ease in midweek, with the return of right-back Juan Cuadrado from quarantine proving a much-needed shot in the arm to his side. However, Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro and Merih Demiral are all still unavailable for Juventus, so veteran Giorgio Chiellini may be pressed into action for the third time in a week - alternatively, Danilo could shift inside to centre-back.

Also absent will be Paulo Dybala, whose season has been badly scarred by illness and injury, with Alvaro Morata most likely to partner Cristiano Ronaldo up front. However, Dejan Kulusevski played in support of the Portuguese superstar in the Supercoppa and could be allowed to continue there on Sunday.

Only long-term absentees Ibrahima Mbaye, Gary Medel and Federico Santander are set to miss out for Bologna, with Sinisa Mihajlovic inclined to field his familiar 4-2-3-1 setup in Turin.

Last week, faithful servant Rodrigo Palacio was given a rare rest but is expected to reclaim his place in the XI, with Musa Barrow shifting out wide and young Emanuel Vignato probably dropping to the bench.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Danilo, Frabotta; Ramsey, Arthur, Bentancur, McKennie; Morata, Ronaldo

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; De Silvestri, Tomiyasu, Danilo, Dijks; Schouten, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio


SM words green background

We say: Juventus 2-0 Bologna

There can be little evidence to present a case for anything other than a home win in Turin this Sunday - particularly as Bologna tend to wilt away from their beloved Emilian base.

This encounter could prove an opportunity for Alvaro Morata to get back on the scoresheet and finally nail down a definitive spot in Andrea Pirlo's first-choice selection.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. C/lick here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


ID:431693:cQx:QQ:

How you voted: Juventus vs Bologna

Juventus
90.9%
Draw
7.8%
Bologna
1.3%
154
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Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates winning the Italian Super Cup on January 20, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter Milan24175260243656
2AC Milan25165448301853
3Atalanta BCAtalanta25147460322849
4Juventus24147348202849
5Roma25145650381247
6Napoli24142852282444
7Lazio2413473832643
8Hellas VeronaHellas Verona2510873427738
9SassuoloSassuolo249964037336
10Sampdoria2594123437-331
11Udinese2578102734-729
12Bologna2577113238-628
13Genoa2569102737-1027
14Fiorentina2567122638-1225
15SpeziaSpezia2567123246-1425
16BeneventoBenevento2567122547-2225
17CagliariCagliari2556142741-1421
18Torino2331193341-820
19Parma2429131947-2815
20Crotone2533192462-3812

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