Check out the team news and predicted line-ups as Juventus begin the defense of their Serie A title at home to Sampdoria.
Juventus will be in action for the first time on Sunday night against Sampdoria to launch the defense of their Serie A crown.
The Bianconeri are chasing a 10th successive league title under their second new manager in as many campaigns in Andrea Pirlo. Seeing how they’ll fare under the experienced Italian will be one of the major talking points, with fans wary of a repeat performance to that of Maurizio Sarri last term.
Pirlo has so far remained coy regarding his plans for this season, but it appears an eye-catching style of play is on the agenda. Although he probably won’t base his system too heavily on it, like Sarri did.
So all eyes will be on Juventus’ match against Sampdoria, who they defeated 2-0 in their last meeting through goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi.
Predicted XI: Juventus
Pirlo is missing around four key players for his debut match in the Old Lady dugout. Therefore, he’ll probably choose a makeshift line-up compared to what he may have in mind for his strongest.
Paulo Dybala is the biggest name out of the squad with thigh problems. Federico Bernardeschi has a similar injury to the Argentine, while Matthijs de Ligt is still recovering from shoulder surgery and Alex Sandro is unavailable with thigh problems himself.
Therefore, Pirlo is expected to take a leaf out of his old Juve boss Antonio Conte’s book by opting for a 3-5-2 formation.
Wojciech Szczesny should retain his spot in goal ahead of Pirlo’s former teammate Gianluigi Buffon. Giorgio Chiellini, meanwhile, will make a welcome return to the starting line-up in De Ligt’s absence in back three alongside Leonardo Bonucci and Danilo.
While Aaron Ramsey could be set for a surprise start in a five-man midfield. Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio could adopt more advanced roles from their usual full-backs roles in an attacking-minded system. Arthur Melo, on the other hand, may take on a deep midfield role for his Bianconeri debut.
Ronaldo will probably start with a new attacking partner for the game, with many tipping it to be Dejan Kulusevski.
Predicted XI: Sampdoria
Claudio Ranieri had a pretty decent start to life in Luigi Ferraris Stadium last term, but can he do one better this time around? Helping salvage Sampdoria’s Serie A status was good. However, fans expect better than a 15th-place finish.
Although the former Chelsea and Leicester City boss is blessed with an almost fully fit squad for Sunday night. Felice D’Amico and Manolo Gabbiadini are the only injured casualties. While Kristoffer Askildsen and Antonio Palumbo will serve suspensions for the visitors.
Therefore, Ranieri is expected to deploy a 4-4-2 formation with former Juventus keeper Emil Audero in goal. A back four of Bartosz Bereszynski, Omar Colley, Maya Yoshida, and Tomasso Augello should cover the defense.
Expect Albin Ekdal and Jakub Jankto, meanwhile, to be key players for Sampdoria on the left side of midfield. Morten Thorsby may even provide some defensive support to allow Ekdal more room to go forward. Fabio Depaoli, on the other hand, could start on the right flank.
A deadly strike partnership of Federico Bonazzoli and Fabio Quagliarella should also trouble the Juve defense.