Saturday, October 31, 2020

Prediction: Udinese vs Juventus

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 23 Jul 2020

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Verdict: Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime & Juventus to score over 1.5 goals 

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Making a much-needed return to winning ways earlier in the week, Juventus will be looking to move one step closer to reclaiming their Serie A title when they travel to Udinese on Thursday evening.

Udinese

Starting with the hosts, left heartbroken to have seen Napoli snatch a 95th-minute equalizer on the road last weekend, Udinese have continued to show their inconsistencies either side of the enforced break. Hit with a 3-1 drumming at home against Sampdoria earlier in the month, I Bianconeri almost find themselves sat in Serie A limbo with four contests remaining this summer. All but securing their top-flight status for another campaign, caretaker boss Luca Gotti will have a growing headache over his side’s extended issues on home soil. Including that defeat against I Blucerchiati earlier in the month, Udinese have now failed to win any of their last seven Serie A contests at the Dacia Arena, a run that stems back to January 12th. In for what should be an unenviable task in midweek, Gotti’s side should also be concerned by what is a worrying record against the defending champions. Hit with a 4-0 defeat when they made the trip to Turin earlier in the campaign, Udinese have lost each of their previous six consecutive meetings against the Old Lady.

Team News

Still dealing with a real injury crisis among his midfield options, caretaker boss Luca Gotti will have to add Brazilian Wallace onto that growing list after the 25-year-old picked up a shoulder injury against Napoli.

Elsewhere, Udinese will be able to call upon striker Stefano Okaka who returns from suspension.

Juventus

As for the visitors, while they might not have been able to find top gear since returning from football’s enforced break, Juventus made what was a much-needed return to winning ways on Monday night. Holding onto the lead and landing a 2-1 win against a Lazio side in free-fall, the Old Lady are inching towards reclaiming their Serie A title. Now holding an eight-point buffer at the top of the table with just four contests remaining, Maurizio Sarri’s men are desperate to simply find some stability at the back end of the campaign. Entering Monday’s contest coming off the back of back-to-back 3-3 and 2-2 draws against Sassuolo and Atalanta, the one-time Chelsea boss has been heavily criticised for his side’s continued issues at the back. While attacking talisman Cristiano Ronaldo might have bagged yet another brace against Lazio earlier in the week, Thursday’s guests have now failed to record a single clean sheet in their last five appearances on the bounce. Shipping four goals away at the San Siro earlier in the month, it is also worth noting that Juventus have managed to win just a pair of their last six away contests either side of the break.

Team News

Picking up his 10th yellow card of the campaign against Lazio, defensive talisman Leonardo Bonucci will serve a suspension and miss Juventus’ trip on Thursday.

Elsewhere, picking up an injury in the warm-up on Monday, Gonzalo Higuain faces a late fitness test.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including a 4-0 victory in Turin earlier in the season, Juventus have won each of their last six straight meetings against Udinese.
  • Bagging a brace on Monday night, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored nine Serie A goals since the restart.
  • Udinese have failed to win any of their last seven Serie A contests on home soil.
  • The Old Lady have failed to record a clean sheet in their last five consecutive appearances.
  • Juventus have scored over 1.5 goals in all bar one of their last 10 matchups against Udinese.

Conclusion

While Juventus might have continued to show some recent issues since making a return to action, the Old Lady will be boosted by a much-needed return to winning ways on Monday. Inching towards reclaiming their Serie A title this summer and holding a stunning record against the midweek hosts, it is also hard to look past Udinese’s dreadful record on home soil. Failing to win any of their last seven contests at the Dacia Arena, a red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo should be relishing Thursday’s contest. Bagging another brace against Lazio earlier in the week, the Portuguese icon has already recorded nine post-lockdown strikes and should be on for another fruitful evening.

Verdict: Cristiano Ronaldo to score anytime & Juventus to score over 1.5 goals 

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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