Coming on the back of a fairly good pre-season run, Juventus start their Serie A campaign against Udinese tonight at the Dacia Arena.
Juventus will aim for a much more optimistic gameplay than last season where they rarely found their paces over a longer term. Despite finishing in the UEFA Conference League qualification spot, they decided to opt out of the tournament due to numerous financial charges against them. The deduction of points, a poor start to the season and again the reinstatement of the docked points contributed to their troubled season.
While Massimiliano Allegri instructed his side to play a more defensive system last season to consolidate a top-half finish without aiming for much higher, a more attacking style of buildup is expected from the Bianconeri this term as they continue their rebuild.
Juventus hold the record for the most wins in opening day fixtures in Serie A history. They will look to add to that tally and sustain this feat tonight.
Meanwhile, Udinese approach this game on the back of a 4-1 Coppa Italia first-round win against US Cantazaro. Sandi Lovric, Beto, Florian Thauvin and Lorenzo Lucca were on the score sheet as the Friulani crushed through to the next round.
Tonight’s hosts started last season quite eloquently but failed to be consistent with their performances, ultimately ending the season enduring their worst losing streak since 2018.
Andrea Sottil will hope for his side to finish in the top half of the table and every point from a more challenging opposition will be counted as valuable.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
W W L W W
D W W L D
Juventus will only miss Mattia De Sciglio and Paul Pogba for the match through injury. Nicolo Fagiola is expected to be deemed fit before the match.
Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa will pair upfront, with Tim Weah making his debut at some point.
As for Udinese, Beto and Lazar Samardzic have been retained in their squad and both are expected to start the game.
Gerard Deulofeu, Kingsley Ehizibue and Enzo Ebosse are predicted to return within the next month as they near the completion of their recovery routine.
Udinese (3-5-2): Silvestri; Perez, Bijol, Masina; Ebosele, Zarraga, Walace, Lovric, Zemura; Thauvin, Beto.
Juventus (3-5-2): Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Weah, Miretti, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Chiesa, Vlahovic
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN