Juventus will be hoping to gather momentum in their stride to dethrone Inter from the league leaders’ spot when they face Lecce on Sunday night at the Stadio Comunale Via del Mare.
Juventus are unbeaten in their last 17 games across all competitions and this has been a wonderful rebuilding job by manager Massimiliano Allegri after last season’s underwhelming performances. It is already an exceptional campaign ongoing for the Bianconeri and they are taking a shot at the Scudetto with just two points short of leaders Inter.
After losing 4-2 earlier this season, Juventus got their revenge over Sassuolo in their previous outing with Dusan Vlahovic scoring a brace and Federico Chiesa icing the cake in the 89th minute. The Turin-based side progressed to their semi-finals of the Coppa Italia after routing newly promoted Frosinone last week.
Allegri is now waiting for three points for his side and slip up by the Nerazzurri later this month when they meet a resounding Fiorentina side.
Meanwhile, Lecce approach this match with just a single victory from their last five matches. They have registered nine draws this campaign, the second most after relegation battling Udinese (12).
The Salentini have only won once in their last 15 matches with Juventus and it would be considered something massive even if they manage to come out with a point from this upcoming clash. Roberto D’Aversa’s side are aiming to secure top-flight football for the third season in a row. They are four points adrift of 18th-placed Verona and they must pull away with a couple of points from their next few games to avoid a late relegation battle.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
L D L L W
W W W W W
Lecce will be without the services of Hamza Rafia, Ahmed Touba and Lameck Banda as they on international duty at the AFCON.
The line-up is expected to be unchanged from the previous match except for Nicola Sansone who will be missing out with a calf problem.
As for Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri will have Weston Mckennie and Federico Gatti returning from suspension.
Kenan Yildiz is competing with Federico Chiesa who is likely to get the starting nod. Dusan Vlahovic is expected to score in three consecutive matches.
Predicted Starting XI
Lecce (4-3-3): Falcone; Gendrey, Baschirotto, Pongracic, Gallo; Gonzalez, Ramadani, Kaba; Oudin, Krstovic, Strefezza
Juventus (3-5-2): Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cambiaso, McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Vlahovic, Chiesa
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN