Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus begin their Coppa Italia campaign at home to Genoa in a last-16 tie.
Last season’s runners-up Juventus begin their Coppa Italia campaign on Wednesday night at home to Genoa in a last-16 clash.
The two sides meet on the back of convincing victories in Serie A last weekend, leaving them in good shape. Juventus, of course, own bragging rights in this fixture. The hosts won 3-1 last time out in December through a Paulo Dybala goal and Cristiano Ronaldo’s late brace, extending their winning run over Genoa to three consecutive games.
But as Juve may already have one eye on the matches against Inter Milan and Napoli coming up next, could an upset be on the cards?
Whoever wins in Turin is set to meet either Sassuolo or Serie B side SPAL in the quarter-finals on January 21.
Juventus Form & Stats
The 13-time Coppa Italia winners hope to go one better after a heartbreaking defeat to Napoli on penalties in the final last season.
Consecutive 3-1 wins against AC Milan and Sassuolo over the past week, however, mean Juventus have won 12 of their last 16 games in all competitions (D3 L1). They’re back in the top-four in the Serie A table and seven points behind leaders Milan, with a game in hand.
But injuries and illnesses have begun to take an effect on Andrea Pirlo’s squad. Alex Sandro, Matthijs de Ligt, and Juan Cuadrado recently tested positive for COVID-19. Paulo Dybala, meanwhile, is out for around two to three weeks with a knee injury. Weston McKennie and Federico Chiesa are also doubts.
These setbacks have come at a less than an ideal moment. The Bianconeri still have another five games to play in January, averaging just four days of rest between them. However, Pirlo has confirmed captain Giorgio Chiellini will return for the Genoa match. He also stated Gianluigi Buffon will start in goal.
Key Team Stats
- Won 12 of their last 16 games in all competitions (D3 L1).
- Won their last 3 games against Genoa.
- Drawn their last 3 Coppa Italia games.
- Unbeaten in their last 15 home games against Genoa in all competitions (W12 D3).
- Last lost to Genoa in the Coppa Italia in 1939.
- Failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 5 home league games.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 5 goals in 4 league games against Genoa.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 7 braces in 17 appearances across all competitions.
Genoa Form & Stats
While Juventus will begin their Coppa Italia campaign on Wednesday, Genoa have already played two games to qualify for the last-16 stage. They overcame Catanzaro and Sampdoria in the third and fourth rounds respectively, but now face arguably the biggest challenge the competition can offer.
The visitors have also had a change in manager since their last meeting with Juventus in December. Davide Ballardini has replaced Rolando Maran for a fourth spell in charge. He hasn’t had a bad start either, having won two of his first four games (D1 L1) to lift Genoa out of the Serie A relegation zone in 17th-place.
A 2-0 win over Bologna last weekend, meanwhile, was a perfect warm-up for the test that lies ahead. Mattia Destro scored his third goal in four games, with Miha Zajc also on target. The Rossoblu also kept their first clean sheet since October.
But whether all these improvements will be enough to pull one over Juventus at the Allianz Stadium is another matter.
Key Team Stats
- Won 2 of their last 4 league games (D1 L1).
- Lost 7 of their last 13 away games in all competitions (W3 D3). 6 of them were to nil.
- Mattia Destro has scored 3 goals in his last 4 appearances.
- Kept just 1 clean sheet in their last 15 games in all competitions.
Out: Juan Cuadrado, Alex Sandro, Matthijs de Ligt, Paulo Dybala.
Doubts: Weston McKennie, Federico Chiesa.
Out: Mattia Perin, Goran Pandev, Cristian Zapata, Luca Pellegrini.
(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)
Top Goalscorers in Serie A
Head-To-Head Record (Serie A only)
Below are some head-to-head stats on each team’s recent form in Serie A.