Juventus vs Empoli Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 11

Allianz Stadium forms the backdrop as Juventus and Empoli go head-to-head in Friday’s mid-table Serie A showdown. Only five points separate the sides ahead of the kick-off, which speaks enough of the hosts’ lackluster league start.

No strangers to beating the odds in Turin, Empoli eked out a memorable 1-0 win in this corresponding fixture last season to halt an embarrassing run of 17 winless H2Hs in Serie A (D2, L15). Another identical outcome could put the final nail in Massimiliano Allegri’s coffin at Juventus following his side’s thoroughly disturbing 2022/23 start.

In addition to being on the cusp of the Champions League group stage elimination on the back of a disastrous 2-0 defeat at Maccabi Haifa, Juventus are already six points off the Serie A top-four pace. Dusan Vlahovic’s heroic strike in last weekend’s 1-0 derby win at Torino three Allegri a lifeline in Turin, but every match is a must-win now. 

Fans have grown vocal in their effort to hasten Allegri’s departure, urging the Bianconeri chiefs to relieve the Italian manager of his duties. Such a toxic atmosphere at the Allianz Stadium is the last thing Juventus need amid the club’s desperate attempt to reignite their top-four bid. But Empoli could benefit from the current situation in Turin to solidify their top-half pursuit. 

Tipped for a season-long battle against relegation, Paolo Zanetti’s men have excelled early in the season, racking up 11 points across the opening ten Serie A rounds. Safe in mid-table comforts, they have nothing to lose in Turin, while replicating last season’s upset could prove detrimental to Allegri’s future at Juventus. So buckle up Mister Max.

Match Preview


Vlahovic’s abovementioned strike versus Torino helped end his side’s frustrating run of back-to-back 2-0 defeats in all competitions, including a 2-0 loss to fierce rivals Milan a fortnight ago. However, consistency remains the elephant in the room, with Juventus alternating between winning (2) and losing (2) across their last four Serie A outings. 

By extension, none of the home side’s last ten top-flight home matches have witnessed the same outcome occur twice on the trot (W5, D4, L1). Unless Juventus buck that trend here, a 3-0 thumping of Bologna in their most recent Serie A fixture at the Allianz Stadium would be rendered meaningless. 

Juventus last won back-to-back home league games in March, so it’s not hard to imagine Empoli showing Allegri the door. But the only bright side in an otherwise nightmarish Serie A campaign has been a watertight backline that has kept five clean sheets in ten league matches. That could be the best weapon against the visitors’ uneventful frontline. 


Nicolas Haas’ 11th-minute goal propelled Empoli to a narrow 1-0 home victory over Serie A debutants Monza last weekend, ending their two-game winless league streak (D1, L1). However, scoring has not been Gli Azzurri’s strong suit this season. They’ve netted one goal or fewer in nine of their opening ten top-flight games, including the last five on the bounce.

But despite their paltry scoring return, Empoli have gone unbeaten in four consecutive Serie A away fixtures (W1, D3) since falling to a 1-0 defeat at Spezia on their opening league travel. Much of the credit for Zanetti’s side’s eye-catching top-flight start goes to their defensive resilience. They’ve conceded only 11 goals in the first ten league rounds, contributing to the club’s second-best defensive start in their top-flight history. 

Empoli’s decent home form is nothing less you’d expect from a side that picked up more Serie A points on the road (24) than at home (17) last season. This sudden transition from a typically home-oriented side to solid travellers must be looking scary from Allegri’s point of view. 

Juventus vs Empoli Potential Line-ups

Juventus (3-5-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Leonardo Boucci, Alex Sandro; Juan Cuadrado, Weston McKennie, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot, Filip Kostic; Duasn Vlahovic, Moise Kean. 

Empoli (4-3-3): Guglielmo Vicario; Petar Stojanovic, Koni De Winter, Sebastiano Luperto, Fabiano Parisi; Nicolas Haas, Alberto Grassi, Liam Henderson; Marko Pjaca; Martin Satriano, Sam Lammers.