MX23RW : Monday, September 20 12:00:52| >> :120:51418:51418:
Jun 26, 2020 at 8.45pm UK at Allianz Stadium
Dybala (53'), Ronaldo (62' pen.), Higuain (83'), de Ligt (85')
Bentancur (38')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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

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

Juventus will be looking for their fifth straight Serie A victory when they welcome relegation-threatened Lecce to the Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

The Old Lady were 2-0 winners over Bologna on Monday as they returned to action following the lockdown period in Italy's top flight, but Lecce suffered a 4-1 home defeat by AC Milan.

Match preview

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus on June 22, 2020© Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala were on the scoresheet against Bologna as Juve ensured that they would pick up all three points on their return to Serie A action on June 22.

The Old Lady entered the match off the back of a disappointing defeat to Napoli in the final of the Coppa Italia but ensured that they consolidated their spot at the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win.

Maurizio Sarri's side have now won their last four league matches and currently sit four points clear of second-placed Lazio at the top of the table, with third-placed Inter Milan nine points behind.

Inter and Lazio, who both have a game in hand, will have the chance to close that gap before Juve take to the field, but the reigning champions are still very much the team to catch at this stage of the campaign.

The Old Lady are actually unbeaten in their last 34 home Serie A matches, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Lecce when the two teams last locked horns in Turin back in May 2012.

Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz celebrates scoring against Lecce in Serie A on September 22, 2019© Reuters

Lecce secured a return to Serie A by finishing second in Serie B last season, but the Yellow and Reds are facing the possibility of dropping back into the second tier for the 2020-21 campaign.

Indeed, Fabio Liverani's side have only picked up 25 points from their 27 league games this season to sit 18th in the table, but their position is far from terminal with a lot of football still to be played.

Lecce are actually level on points with 17th-placed Genoa and just three points behind Udinese in 15th, which is an indication of how things stand towards the bottom of the table.

The relegation-threatened side have lost their last three in Serie A, though, including a 7-2 defeat to Atalanta BC before the lockdown period and a 4-1 reverse at home to AC Milan on Monday night.

Juventus Serie A form: WLWWWW
Juventus form (all competitions): WLWDLW

Lecce Serie A form: WWWLLL

Team News

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Juve have a problem at left-back heading into this fixture, with Mattia De Sciglio and Alex Sandro both injured, while Danilo is suspended due to the red card that he picked up against Bologna.

Blaise Matuidi will allegedly start on the left of the back four, which could open the door for Aaron Ramsey to feature in central midfield as Sami Khedira is also unavailable through injury.

Gonzalo Higuain and Merih Demiral are also still on the sidelines, but veteran centre-back Giorgio Chiellini could make the bench for the Old Lady, who are likely to recall Douglas Costa in the final third of the field.

As for Lecce, Diego Farias, Alessandro Deiola, Antonin Barak and Cristian Dell'Orco are all on the treatment table, while Gianluca Lapadula faces a late fitness test on a leg injury.

Should Lapadula, who has scored seven times in Serie A this season, be unable to prove his fitness then Khouma Babacar could get the nod in the final third of the field.

There are not expected to be many changes from the side that started against AC Milan, though, with Filippo Falco likely to keep his spot in a forward area.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Matuidi; Bentancur, Pjanic, Ramsey; Ronaldo, Dybala, Costa

Lecce possible starting lineup:
Gabriel; Rispoli, Rossettini, Lucioni, Calderoni; Petriccione, Tachtsidis, Mancosu; Falco, Saponara; Babacar

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We say: Juventus 3-0 Lecce

Juve could be just a point above Lazio by the time that they take to the field for this match and therefore a victory will be vital. Lecce's recent form is concerning, and we are finding it incredibly difficult to look beyond the home side, who should have far too much on the night.

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Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus on June 22, 2020
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