Juventus are the bookmaker’s favourites to win Serie A before a ball has been kicked but after finishing 4th last season, Massimiliano Allegri has plenty of work to do to prove his side’s capability. Udinese finished in mid-table last season and although they have the home advantage on Sunday, they head into this game as the clear underdogs.
Juventus enter the new campaign aiming to regain domestic dominance after a disappointing 4th-place finish in the previous term of Serie-A.
However, there is an argument that Juventus were fighting against improved opposition.
Other than Inter Milan, there were just a few points separating the rest of the top four, which shows how close the latest Serie A Season was.
Smaller clubs stole away points from Juventus, with teams like Benevento going unbeaten against Pirlo’s side all season. They lacked creativity in the midfield, because of which they signed Locatelli and the defensive problems also need to be looked out with the veteran Italian centre back duo along with De-Ligt.
A subpar season meant farewell to Andrea Pirlo who gave his managerial position to a familiar face, Massimiliano Allegri.
The former Juventus manager is thus ready for another challenge with the Bianconeri. He can be satisfied with the team’s display in the last pre-season match against Atalanta.
Udinese, meanwhile, will have to cope without last season’s talisman Rodrigo De Paul after the majestic Argentine departed for Atletico Madrid this summer. De Paul’s magic guided the Friulani to a 14th-place finish last time out. Nevertheless, there’s no doubting that Gotti’s side will have the firepower to cause Juve a few problems, spurred on by home support.
Udinese Team News
Udinese captain Ilona Nestorovski remains sidelined after undergoing ACL surgery in April.
Roberto Pereira, meanwhile, will take on the brunt of Udinese’s creative responsibility and the Argentine will likely line up with Jean-Victor Makengo and Tolgay Arslan in the middle of the park.
Young new signing Lazar Samardizc is unlikely to start but could earn some minutes off the bench, although former Hellas Verona shot-stopper Marco Silvestri will start between the sticks after being brought in to replace Juan Messo.
Juventus Team News
Allegri will be without Arthur Melo for the start of the season after the Brazilian underwent surgery on his leg injury in July. Adrien Rabiot is also an injury doubt, while new signing Manuel Locatelli is unlikely to make his debut from the outset.
Aaron Ramsey could return to his position, while Bernardeschi’s pre-season performance should see him start in midfield. The front three currently picks itself, with Ronaldo being the target man.
Udinese Recent Form
Udinese 3-1 Ascoli – Copa Italia
Udinese 1-0 Empoli – Friendly
Udinese 4-0 Muzane – Friendly
Juventus Recent Form
Juventus 3-0 Juventus – Under 23’s – Friendly
Juventus 3-1 Atalanta – Friendly
Barcelona 3-0 Juventus – Joan Gamper Trophy
- KEY PLAYER
CRISTIANO RONALDO boasts a fine record against Udinese and he came to rescue his team during their last meeting. The Portuguese superstar will be keen to add his name on the scoresheet and help his team win their first match of the season. Along with Chiesa and Dybala, he’s also the defending champion and man to beat when it comes to the 2021/22 Cappcannoniere race in Serie A.
With Massimiliano Allegri having the luxury of an almost fully fit squad to choose from, expect the Bianconeri to fire on Sunday against a Udinese side who may struggle to get up on the pitch in the absence of De Paul. Jive should control this contest and it’ll be a matter of whether they can penetrate what’s poised to be a low Luca Gotti block.
Predicted Scoreline-: Udinese 0-2 Juventus.