In the penultimate game of the Serie A schedule on Saturday, top-four hopes Juventus meet bottom-placed Bologna at the Allianz Stadium. Both teams are lagging behind their goals for the season, but with five games to go in this Serie A season, there is still a faint hope in both camps.
A comeback win away at relegated Cagliari last time out saw Juventus return to winning ways after a 1-0 derby defeat by Inter. However, after Nerazzurri and Milan both won their Serie A games on Friday, the Italian record champions look set to be on the verge of missing the Scudetto.
Meanwhile, Bologna went unbeaten in both league games after the international break in March (W1 D1), including a 2-0 home win over rivals Sampdoria in the lower half last time out. In the other game, Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side beat leaders Milan to a goalless draw at the San Siro, proving they still have plenty of fighting spirit.
Juventus go into the game five points clear of fifth-placed Roma as another top-four Serie A result looks inevitable. But there is no room for complacency yet.
The aforementioned defeat to Inter effectively eliminated Massimiliano Allegri’s team from the title race. However, it was only her first setback in 11 home games in all competitions (W8, D2), showing Allegri knows how to build a fortress. Bologna’s visit to Turin will probably confirm this hypothesis.
In fact, Juventus have won each of their last eight home games in Serie A with FC Rossoblu, scores 2+ points for each win. At home and on the go, the Bianconeri has put on an amazing 11-game H2H winning streak, scoring an astounding 26 goals in that streak, at an average of 2.36 per game.
Against this backdrop, Juventus have scored just 49 goals after 32 rounds this season in Serie A, fewer than any side from the top half of the table.
It’s up to Dusan Vlahovic to help his side improve their paltry goalscoring record as the Serb seeks his first-ever Capocannoniere award. He is currently behind Ciro Immobile, who tops the Serie A scorer list with 24 goals to two.
Bologna ended their frustrating five-game winless streak of Serie A (D3 D2) with a final win over Sampdoria. Unfortunately, Hellas Verona are already eight points clear in 10th place, putting their second top-half finish in nine years out of reach.
That Rossoblu could win back-to-back Serie A games in their first calendar year and their rock-solid defensive performances of late could come in handy. Mihajlovic’s men have kept three clean sheets in their last five league games and conceded exactly one in each of their remaining two games.
Indeed, last week’s defeat by Sampdoria marked Bologna’s 11th clean sheet at this stage of a Serie A campaign for the first time since 2010/11. That’s already six more than in the entire 2020/21 season. However, the elephant in the room remains a lack of scoring chances.
Bologna have drawn a gap away from home in three of their last six Serie A games, scoring exactly once per game in the other three. Overall this season, only two teams currently outside the relegation zone have scored fewer goals than the Rossoblu (34).
Manuel Locatelli and Weston McKennie are both injured and Arthur should be available in midfield despite a sprained ankle. But long-term absentees Kaio Jorge and Federico Chiesa are still injured.
Full-back Lorenzo De Silvestri and midfielder Kingsley Michael will not travel to Torino with the rest of the Bologna squad due to injuries. However, you can choose the lineup that Sampdoria defeated last time.
Potential Juventus starting XI (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Matthijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Luca Pellegrini; Juan Cuadrado, Denis Zakaria, Arthur, Adrien Rabiot; Alvaro Morata, Dusan Vlahovic.
Potential Bologna starting XI (3-5-2): Lucasz Skorupski; Adama Soumaoro, Gary Medel, Arthur Theate; Aaron Hickey, Jerdy Schouten, Mattias Svanberg, Michel Aebischer, Mitchell Dijks; Musa Barrow, Marko Arnautovic.