Sunday, December 5, 2021

Prediction: Juventus vs Bologna

Verdict: Crisitano Ronaldo to score two or more goals

Best odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

Juventus will be taking on Bologna at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday. The game is officially a part of the 19th round of the 2020-21 season in the Serie A, but for the defending champions, it will actually be the 18th match of the campaign.


Having won the title for nine seasons in a row, it’s fair to say that Italian football has been thoroughly dominated by Juventus in the last decade. This time, however, things seem quite different at the top of the table, with AC Milan at the top on 43 points, Inter Milan second with 40, Napoli and AS Roma sharing places three and four with 34, and Juventus in ‘lowly’ fifth with 33. Atalanta (also 33) and Lazio (31) are close behind, in sixth and seventh.

Can the Old Lady overturn the deficit between now and the end of the season? They most certainly can; there is enough quality in their squad for something like that, but at this point, they mustn’t allow those in front to get further away, and to that end, games against mid-table opposition are absolutely vital, especially when played in Turin. The three points there to be won are imperative, and their recent form bodes well. Andrea Pirlo’s men won five of the last six matches in all competitions: 4-1 against Udinese (home, Serie A), 1-3 against Milan (away, Serie A), 3-1 against Sassuolo (home, Serie A), 3-2 against Genoa (home, Coppa Italia round of 16), and 2-0 against Napoli (neutral venue, Supercoppa Italiana). Their only defeat in that frame was a 2-0 away to Inter Milan (Serie A).

Juventus finished the group stage of the Champions League this term by topping Group G, ahead of Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros, and they now await the double feature against FC Porto in the round of 16.

Team News

Matthijs de Ligt, Merih Demiral and Alex Sandro are all unavailable in defence, which means veteran Giorgio Chiellini is likely to play again having featured twice the last week. Forward Paulo Dybala is out as well, and Alvaro Morata should partner Cristiano Ronaldo upfront, though Pirlo could choose Dejan Kulusevski instead, after the Sweden international did a fine job against Napoli in the Supercoppa.


After finishing 12th last season, Bologna are doing exactly the same right now. Still in 12th place, with 20 points to their name from 18 matches played. It’s certainly not a great record, but a comfortable mid-table position, on top of a seven-point cushion between them and Torino who top the relegation zone, is about all they could’ve hoped for for this stage of the campaign.

Bologna’s last six matches were all played in the Serie A, and they won one of them (1-0 against Hellas Verona at home last week), lost one (2-0 away to Genoa) and drew four (1-1 away to Torino, 2-2 at home against Atalanta, 0-0 away to Fiorentina and 2-2 at home against Udinese). These scorelines obviously mean that there can be no telling with this team and the number of goals scored in a match.

Nonetheless, that triumph over Verona is something coach Sinisa Mihajlovic will be looking for his team to build on, at least in terms of performance and confidence if not result, as a home match against AC Milan follows this one.

Team News

Mihajlovic won’t be able to call upon long-term absentees, defender Ibrahima Mbaye, midfielder Gary Medel and forward Federico Santander.

Forward Rodrigo Palacio was rested last week but he’s practically certain to start in Turin.


With all due respect to Bologna, they won’t be hoping for much in this game. Avoiding a heavy thrashing would probably be a good result for them, but you’d expect Ronaldo to keep adding to his incredible goal numbers.

Verdict: Crisitano Ronaldo to score two or more goals

Best odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: Betfair


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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