After scoring a hat-trick last time out, Cristiano Ronaldo plans to smash in more goals to help revive Juventus’ title bid against Benevento.
Juventus welcome an out-of-form Benevento to Turin on Sunday afternoon hoping to close the gap to Serie A leaders Inter Milan down to seven points.
In what is a must-win match for Andrea Pirlo, the Juventus boss will face his old teammate Filippo Inzaghi. The duo made 235 appearances together as footballers for AC Milan and the Italian national team. They now meet as managers for the second time, having settled for a 1-1 draw from their first showdown in November.
Unlike last time, however, Cristiano Ronaldo is available. The goal-hungry Portuguese ace enters the clash fresh from his first hat-trick of the season and ready to pile more misery on a struggling Benevento side.
Juventus Form & Stats
Ronaldo took only 32 minutes to shut his critics down by putting Cagliari to the sword with a first-half treble last weekend. The star now holds a four-goal lead in the Capocannoniere race. He is also only three goals shy of Paulo Dybala’s goal tally for Juventus, having scored 95 goals in 122 appearances compared to the Argentine’s 98 goals in 244 games.
Thanks to Ronaldo’s hat-trick, Juventus bounced back from a painful Champions League exit. The Bianconeri have now won five of their last six games in all competitions (D1) to keep hopes of a domestic double alive. To leapfrog Inter, however, they’ll ideally need to win each of their last 12 league outings.
Juventus are on a three-match unbeaten (W2 D1) against Benevento. Pirlo’s men have also won their last seven home league games by at least a two-goal margin, scoring 20 goals and conceding only three times. And as the hosts could take second-place from AC Milan, they should be fired up for this one.
Key Team Stats
- Won by at least 2 goals in their last 7 home league games.
- Won to nil in 4 of their last 5 home league games.
- Over 2.5 goals in their last 3 home league games.
- Unbeaten in 3 league games against Benevento (W2 D1).
- Registered 5 corner-kicks in 3 of their last 4 league games.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 7 goals in his last 4 league starts.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the first goal three times in his last 4 league starts.
- Federico Chiesa has supplied 3 assists in his last 4 league games.
- Alvaro Morata is just 1 goal away from equaling Fernando Llorente (23 goals) as Juventus’ top Spanish goalscorer in Serie A.
Benevento Form & Stats
The pressure is on for Filippo Inzaghi. Benevento’s 11-match winless run (D5 L6) is the worst of any Serie A club, and a late relegation tussle could be on as the 16th-placed side sit only four points above Cagliari in 18th. They need to get out of their current slump of form. Sooner rather than later.
The Sorcerers have done slightly better on the road than at home this season, though. They’ve lost six times in 13 games (W4 D3), although three of those defeats have come in their last five trips (D2). That includes a 2-0 loss to Napoli in southern Italy and a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Inter at San Siro.
It’s no secret Benevento are on a bad patch of form. Despite a promising start to life back in Serie A, Inzaghi’s men have stumbled. Only one win has come in 2021 (D5 L7), the goals have dried up somewhat, and they even suffered three-goal defeats in their last two home games.
Key Team Stats
- On an 11-match winless run (D5 L6).
- Lost 3 of their last 5 away league games (D2).
- Under 2.5 goals in their last 3 away league games.
- Failed to score in 3 of their last 5 league games.
- Filippo Inzaghi is winless in 4 games against Juventus as a manager (D1 L3).
- No newly-promoted club has gone unbeaten in a season against Juventus since Sampdoria in 2012/13.
- Gianluca Lapadula has scored only 1 goal in his last 20 league starts.
Out: Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Aaron Ramsey, Merih Demiral.
Out: Fabio Depaoli, Gaetano Letizia, Iago Falque, Pasquale Schiattarella, Kamil Glik.
(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 the Serie A.