After failing to secure 2nd place in the league standings, Serie A action returns for Juventus as they are set to face lowly Lecce at the Allianz Stadium today.
Following Lazio’s defeat to Inter, Juventus had a marvellous chance to shrug off their recent woes and put their season back on track by usurping the second place in the league standings from the Biancocelesti, but they failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
Riccardo Orsolini’s penalty strike in the 10th minute put misery on a lacklustre Bianconeri side and though they could shift the momentum in the 60th minute through a Arkadiusz Milik goal, Massimiliano Allegri’s men failed to grab the three points from Bologna.
The past week also saw Allegri’s men getting knocked out of the Coppa Italia semi-finals by Inter. The first leg ended in a 1-1 stalemate and while the Nerazzurri were the underdogs in the clash in the 2nd leg, Simone Inzaghi’s men secured a place in the finals by compactly defending against Juventus who couldn’t find the net and Federico Dimarco did the job on the other end.
Meanwhile, Lecce will be hoping to grab at least a point from their upcoming clash in order to aid their stride to survival in the top flight.
Though they are four points clear from the relegation zone, their recent form has been inconsistent and 18th-placed Verona’s sudden rise in form has brought forward a few questions of survival to their presently safe neighbours in the table.
The Salentini will have to a few top-tier opponents in the next few games and their chances of survival lie in their own hands, for now. They will certainly hope to keep it that way instead of throwing away their current position.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
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Manager Massimiliano Allegri might be resting midfielder Adrien Rabiot and left-back Alex Sandro for this match.
Gleison Bremer and Leonardo Bonucci push to start the match and become a part of the defence.
Angel Di Maria will be returning for this match and may start the match by supporting striker Arkadiusz Milik. The Polish will retain his starting position as both Dusan Vlahovic and Moise Kean are sidelined.
As for Lecce, Marin Pongracic remains a long-term absentee.
Top goal scorer Gabriel Strefezza will serve a suspension and Lameck Banda will deputize.
Samuel Umtiti and Federico Baschirotto will man the defence.
Juventus (3-5-1-1): Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado, Fagioli, Locatelli, Miretti, Kostic; Di Maria; Milik
Lecce (4-3-3): Falcone; Gendrey, Baschirotto, Umtiti, Gallo; Blin, Hjulmand, Oudin; Banda, Ceesay, Di Francesco
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN