Cristiano Ronaldo is back for his first game of 2021 as Juventus play host to Udinese in a must-win match.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus hope to begin 2021 in style for their first game of the new year at home to Udinese on Sunday at the Allianz Stadium.
The Old Lady ended 2020 on a disastrous note, having lost 3-0 to Fiorentina in their own backyard. It left them down in sixth-place in the Serie A table and 10 points behind leaders AC Milan – albeit with a game in hand.
A return to winning ways is a must for the hosts, but Udinese have other ideas. The 12th-placed side came from a goal down to beat Juventus 2-1 in their last meeting last July and have fared well against big clubs this season.
Juventus Form & Stats
Andrea Pirlo has suffered a mixed start in Turin. The rookie coach has had his moments, including a 3-0 Champions League win at Barcelona, but he’s won just six of his 13 Serie A games (D6 L1). The loss to Fiorentina last time out ended his unbeaten record, leaving him with a mountain to climb already.
One noteworthy fact from Pirlo’s reign so far is that he has managed 11 points fewer than his predecessor Maurizio Sarri collected after 13 league games last season.
Juventus’ home form this season hasn’t been all that impressive either. They’ve only won half of their six league games in Turin (D2 L1), collecting just 11 points in total. And with a trip to AC Milan coming up on Wednesday, a victory over Udinese is a must.
All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo to end the Bianconeri’s suffering. The Portuguese ace has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 12 goals in only 10 league appearances, and returns recharged from the winter break.
Key Team Stats
- Won just 1 of their last 3 home league games (D1 L1).
- BTTS in 3 of their 6 home league games.
- Scored 2 headed goals in their last 3 league games.
- Won 9 of their last 10 home games against Udinese in all competitions.
- Over 2.5 goals in their last 4 games against Udinese in all competitions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 3 goals in 3 league games against Udinese.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 10 goals in his last 9 appearances in all competitions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo scored 41 goals in 2020 across all competitions – the same amount as the entire Udinese team.
Udinese Form & Stats
Luca Gotti, who was a member of Maurizio Sarri’s backroom staff at Chelsea, has quietly made progress in his first full campaign as a head coach.
The 53-year-old replaced Igor Tudor in November 2019 and steered Udinese clear of the relegation zone last season. He has since led the club to within three points of the top-10 in the Serie A, and with a game in hand.
Udinese have actually fared well on the road this season, having won two of their last three away league games. They also memorably beat Lazio 3-1 in the Italian capital in November and lost by only a one-goal margin to AC Milan and Roma.
A disappointing 2-0 home loss to Benevento last time out, however, extended the Little Zebras’ winless run to three league games (D2 L1).
Key Team Stats
- Winless in their last 3 league games (D2 L1).
- Unbeaten in their last 4 away league games (W2 D2).
- A penalty has occurred in 5 of their last 10 games against Juventus.
- Scored just 14 goals this season – the fourth-worst record in the league.
Out: Juan Cuadrado (suspended), Adrien Rabiot (suspension), Alvaro Morata (thigh).
Out: Rodrigo Becao (suspended), Bram Nuytinck (calf), Stefano Okaka (thigh), Mato Jajalo (knee), Sebastian Prodl, Thomas Ouwejan (fitness).
(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.