Friday, March 1, 2024

Prediction: Juventus vs Udinese

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 37/50

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Following their setback in the Derby d’Italia last week, Juventus will look to bounce back and begin a new unbeaten streak on Monday as they host Udinese at the Allianz Stadium.

Juve head back to Turin after their defeat to Scudetto rivals Inter Milan, aiming to regain momentum. Meanwhile, Udinese, known for their tendency to draw matches, were held to a goalless stalemate by Monza in their previous fixture.

Juventus

After experiencing their first setback of the year with a 1-1 home draw against Empoli, Juventus faced their second Serie A defeat of the season in their February fixture, losing to Inter Milan in the top-of-the-table Derby d’Italia at San Siro. The own goal by Federico Gatti in the first half proved decisive, widening the gap in Inter’s favor to seven points from their previous four-point lead.

Despite a string of five consecutive league victories and securing a spot in the Coppa Italia semi-finals, Juventus have only managed to gather one point from their last two matches. Head coach Max Allegri, who is set to join Marcello Lippi with 405 games in charge of Juventus, second only to Giovanni Trapattoni (596), has focused on Serie A this season due to his club’s lack of European football. However, overtaking Inter now presents a significant challenge for Juventus, making victory in their upcoming match against Udinese imperative.

Juventus have a history of dominance against Udinese, having secured four consecutive league wins without conceding a goal against them. Additionally, Juventus have not dropped points in this particular fixture for over eight years.

Team News

Juventus may face the absence of striker Dusan Vlahovic in Monday’s game due to a thigh problem, potentially adding him to the list of sidelined players alongside Mattia De Sciglio, Moise Kean, and backup goalkeeper Mattia Perin.

Additionally, defensive mainstay Danilo’s suspension means that fellow Brazilian Alex Sandro is likely to step into the hosts’ back three, marking another expected change in Max Allegri’s starting XI.

In Vlahovic’s potential absence, Arkadiusz Milik and Federico Chiesa are contenders for promotion from the bench. Chiesa has previously scored in both of Juventus’s last two encounters with Udinese. However, he has not started in seven Serie A matches due to fitness concerns and the emergence of Turkish teenager Kenan Yildiz.

Udinese

Udinese faced a 3-0 defeat at home in their opening game of the season against Juventus and have failed to secure a single point in their last seven visits to the Allianz Stadium.

Their prospects for causing an upset in the upcoming match seem bleak, given their recent struggles. Udinese, managed by Gabriele Cioffi, have been unable to finish off opponents and secure the necessary points to move clear of the Serie A relegation zone.

After a draw against Monza last week, Udinese have accumulated 13 draws in the league this season, tying their record from 1983 for the most draws at this stage of a campaign.

Udinese have squandered the most points (15) of any team during the final 15 minutes of play, highlighting their struggles to close out matches. In contrast, Juventus are one of only four teams yet to drop any points in such a manner. As a result, Udinese find themselves entrenched in the battle for Serie A survival.

With only two wins from 23 games, Udinese’s tally of 19 points ties their lowest haul this century.

Team News

Udinese will be without their captain Roberto Pereyra for the trip to his former club due to a one-match ban for a yellow-card accumulation. His absence opens up an opportunity for either Joao Ferreira or Kingsley Ehizibue to step in and fill the void on the right flank.

In addition to Pereyra’s absence, Udinese will also be missing Enzo Ebosse, Jaka Bijol, and Gerard Deulofeu. However, Lazar Samardzic, who is a reported transfer target for Juventus, is fit to feature in the visitors’ midfield. Notably, Samardzic is the only midfielder in Serie A this season with at least 30 shots, 30 chances created, and 30 successful dribbles, highlighting his importance to the Udinese side.

Conclusion

The last time these clubs drew in a league match in Turin was in March 1990. Despite Udinese’s tendency to draw games this season, that inability to snatch a point at the Allianz Stadium is expected to continue.

A routine win for Juventus on Monday, which seems very likely, would see Max Allegri become the first coach to reach 1000 points in Serie A. However, a goal fest should not be expected.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 37/50

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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