Serie A Matchday 38: Bologna – Juventus Match Preview

Juventus and Bologna go head-to-head at Renato Dall’Ara in the nail-biting 2020-21 Serie A season finale on Sunday. Coming into the final weekend of the season, the Bianconeri are hovering one point adrift of Milan and Napoli in third and fourth, respectively. 

Juventus’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for the tenth year running are out of their hands. Even if they win in Emilia-Romagna, the former Italian champions will need other results to go their way as one of Milan or Napoli will have to slip up.

A 2-1 triumph against Atalanta in the Coppa Italia Final on Wednesday comes as a morale boost for Andrea Pirlo’s side ahead of their trip to Renato Dall’Ara. 

Following a drop-off in form, Bologna will finish in the bottom half of the table regardless of what happens on Sunday. However, Sinisa Mihajlovic, who had ties with both Milan and Inter, is keen to throw a spanner in the works of Juventus’ top-four charge.

Bologna vs Juventus Head-To-Head

Arthur Melo and Weston McKennie guided Juventus to a comfortable 2-0 triumph in the reverse fixture in late January. It was Juve’s ninth consecutive Serie A victory against Bologna and sixth in that stretch in which the Rossoblu failed to get on the scoresheet.

Since the 2012-13 season, the Veltri have netted just five goals in 15 Serie A matches against the Turin powerhouse. Notably, the dethroned Italian champions keep a clean sheet ten times during that 15-game sequence, more than against any other team in the division in that period.

Furthermore, Juventus have registered eight shutouts in their last ten trips to Bologna across all competitions, conceding precisely once per match in the other two.

By extension, the Bianconeri have suffered just one defeat in their last 30 top-flight meetings with Bologna (W19, D9), succumbing to a 3-0 loss in November 1998. 

Bologna Recent Form

Following a 4-1 thumping of Spezia on Matchday 31, Bologna have gone winless in their subsequent six Serie A matches (D4, L2), netting under 1.5 goals four times in the process.

After going 2-0 down to Genoa in their most recent Serie A fixture at Renato Dall’Ara, the hosts could lose back-to-back home league games for the first time since January 2019.

Worryingly, the Rossoblu have won their final match of the season only once in the last ten Serie A campaigns (D5, L4), courtesy of a 3-2 victory at Napoli in 2019.

But quick out of the blocks, Mihajlovic’s men have scored a league third-high 17 first-half goals at home this season, with only Napoli and Roma netting more in that timeframe.

Juventus Recent Form

Juventus have scored precisely three goals apiece in their last two Serie A games en route to beating Sassuolo and Inter Milan to ensure the top-four race goes down to the wire.

After going winless in three consecutive Serie A trips (D2, L1), the Bianconeri have posted back-to-back league victories on the road despite failing to keep a clean sheet on each occasion.

In fact, Juve’s defensive woes have seen them concede at least once in each of their last 13 Serie A outings. The last time they endured a longer such run was in 2010 when they went 19 straight matches without a blank sheet.

Pirlo’s men boast an almost perfect record in Serie A fixtures in which they were ahead at half-time this season (W13, D2), highlighting the importance of the first goal.

Bologna vs Juventus Players to Watch

Rodrigo Palacio has netted four of Bologna’s last six goals in Serie A, including a last-gasp equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Hellas Verona last time out. The veteran forward has also scored twice against Juventus in his career, though each strike came during his time at Inter.

Federico Chiesa has completed his only career hat-trick in Serie A precisely against Bologna, last July in the Fiorentina shirt. Overall, the Italian winger has scored more goals against the Veltri (five) than against any other side in Serie A.

Bologna vs Juventus Predicted Lineups

BOLOGNA (4-2-3-1): Lukasz Skorupski; Lorenzo De Silvestri, Paolo Farago, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ibrahima Mbaye; Roberto Soriano, Gary Medel; Andreas Skov Olsen, Emanuel Vignato, Riccardo Orsolini; Musa Barrow.

JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Wojceich Szczesny; Danilo, Matthijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Juan Cuadrado, Weston McKennie, Adrien Rabiot, Federico Chiesa; Cristiano Ronaldo, Dejan Kulusevski.