Juventus head to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take on bottom-half Sampdoria in Saturday’s Serie A fixture. The sides will lock horns in contrasting circumstances as the hosts look set to battle it out for survival after a couple of underwhelming results.
Since beating fellow bottom-half rivals Empoli 2-0 at home, Marco Giampaolo’s men have lost back-to-back league matches by an aggregate score of 6-1, including a 2-1 away to Udinese last time out. They now sit only four points clear of 18th-placed Venezia, who also hold a game in hand, putting the Blucerchiati under even more pressure.
Meanwhile, Juventus squeezed past Spezia 1-0 last weekend, courtesy of Alvaro Morata’s first-half goal to extend their unbeaten Serie A run to 14 games (W9, D5). Massimiliano Allegri’s side currently trail table-topping Milan by seven points. Despite ruling his team out of the Scudetto race only recently, Allegri must be aware of the possibility.
After suffering three defeats in four home league outings between December 2021 and January 2021, Sampdoria have won their last two Serie A matches at Ferraris without conceding. A brace of triumphs over Empoli and Sassuolo gives the home side an opportunity to win three home league fixtures for the first time since January 2019.
Much of those hopes will hinge on how Sampdoria approach the game, as they could wave goodbye to winning if they concede first. Indeed, La Samp have lost 12 (75%) of their Serie A games after falling behind this season (W1, D3, L12).
Signs of attacking improvement were evident against Empoli and Sassuolo, with Sampdoria netting six goals across those two victories, one more than they had in their previous four Serie A fixtures at Luigi Ferraris.
Juventus’ recent Serie A matches have been notably tight. Each of their last four league outings have featured a full-time margin of under 1.5 goals, including a 3-2 win away to Empoli in their most recent league travel.
The Bianconeri have kept a clean sheet once across their four Serie A away games since the calendar year flipped to 2022, conceding an average of two goals across those three fixtures. Yet, only Napoli and Inter have shipped fewer Serie A goals than Juventus (25) this season.
Allegri’s men have amassed more points (19) than any other Serie A side in 2022 (W5, D5). Juventus remain one of only five teams across Europe’s top-five leagues yet to lose a single league match this calendar year. So the visitors should feel comfortable ahead of this travel.
How Could Sampdoria Line Up?
Euro 2020 sensation Mikkel Damsgaard remains unavailable for selection after sustaining a knee injury, while Manolo Gabbiadini picked up a knock in training. Morten Thorsby is back from suspension, while Kristoffer Askildsen returns to the fold from injury.
Sampdoria Potential Starting XI:
(4-3-1-2): Wladimiro Falcone; Bartosz Bereszynski, Maya Yoshida, Omar Colley, Tommaso Augello; Morten Thorsby, Albin Ekdal, Antonio Candreva; Stefano Sensi; Francesco Caputo, Fabio Quagliarella.
How Could Juventus Line Up?
Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are still sidelined with injuries. January signing Denis Zakaria has recently joined them in the recovery room, same as Federico Chiesa, Weston McKennie and Kaio Jorge. Paulo Dybala’s availability hangs in the balance, leaving Allegri with a decision to make.
Juventus Potential Starting XI:
(4-3-3): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Matthijs de Ligt, Daniele Rugani, Mattia de Sciglio; Manuel Locatelli, Arthur, Adrien Rabiot; Juan Cuadrado, Dusan Vlahovic, Alvaro Morata.