Cristiano Ronaldo needs to be at his best to help an injury-hit Juventus beat Hellas Verona in northern Italy on Saturday.
Juventus hope to pile the pressure on title rivals Inter and AC Milan by bagging all three points in Saturday night’s visit to Hellas Verona at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.
The reigning Serie A champions moved into third place in the standings last time out, and eight points off leaders Inter with a game in hand. Verona, on the other hand, sit in a respectable in a ninth and 11 points behind their opponents.
Considering Juventus have lost several key players to injuries, the hosts will fancy their chances. If there was ever an opportunity for an upset, this could be it. Unless, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo and co can make the difference in northern Italy again.
Hellas Verona Form & Stats
Verona have struggled for consistency with nine wins, seven draws, and seven defeats this season. It’s a similar story to last season. Back-to-back ninth-places Serie A finishes, however, would represent a great return for a club only in its second campaign back in the Italian top-flight.
The Gialloblu even defeated Juventus in the reverse fixture last season 2-1, despite Ronaldo putting the visitors ahead. They claimed a 1-1 draw in Turin in October and now hope to avoid losing for the third time in a row. A single goal tends to be the difference between these two sides, with a 2-1 scoreline having decided four of the last six league clashes.
Manager Ivan Juric has also built a strong backline, with Verona boasting the league’s fourth-best defensive record on 26 conceded goals. But they haven’t been quite so good in the attack, with loan signing Kevin Lasagna missing potential match-winning goals in the 2-2 draw with Genoa last weekend.
Key Team Stats
- Won their last 3 home league games.
- Worst goal record of a top 10 club in the league (30 goals).
- Fourth-best defensive record in the league (26 conceded goals).
- Unbeaten in their last 2 league games against Juventus (W1 D1).
- BTTS in each of their last 6 league games against Juventus.
- BTTS in 7 of their last 8 home league games.
Juventus Form & Stats
The Bianconeri ended a three-match winless run by beating bottom-placed side Crotone 3-0 on Monday. But while that result got their title bid back on track, Andrea Pirlo has had to select eight youth team players for the Verona trip due to his growling injury list. The manager will, therefore, expect a challenging affair on Saturday night.
All eyes will once again be on Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese ace ended his brief dry streak in front of goal against Crotone with a brilliant brace. He reclaimed his spot as the league’s top-scorer from Romelu Lukaku and will need to be at the top of his game on Saturday to help guide an inexperienced Juventus side to victory.
Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral, meanwhile, will probably cover in defense in the absence of the injured Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci as Juve look to make it five clean sheets in six league games against Verona.
Key Team Stats
- Won 4 of their last 6 away league games (L2).
- Won 4 of their last 5 league games to nil.
- Best defensive record in the league (19 conceded goals).
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 1 goal in each of his 2 league games against Hellas Verona.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 9 goals in his 9 away league games this season.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has made 29 goal contributions in 28 appearances across all competitions (25 goals, 4 assists).
Out: Nikola Kalinic, Ebrima Colley, Federico Ceccherini.
Out: Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Danilo, Alvaro Morata, Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Arthur.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in Serie A
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in Serie A.