Juventus v Sampdoria takes place on Sunday at 7:45pm (UK time).
Massimiliano Allegri has the unfavourable task of guiding his Juventus side back into the European places in Serie A, after a 15-point deduction left them languishing in 11th place at the time of the ban, although they have confirmed their intention to appeal.
The news of the points deduction was followed by a run of three without a win for the Bianconeri, including two defeats. However, wins over Salernitana, Fiorentina, Spezia and Torino have moved Juventus up to seventh, but still eight points behind sixth-placed Atalanta.
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Three reasons to watch Juventus online
A challenging climb up the table
Juventus are no underdogs, not by a long shot, but there may be some fascinated by the uphill battle they face to secure European football for 2022/23.
Before their points deduction, Juventus were looking pretty comfortable in the top four and looked on course to qualify for the Champions League yet again. But the Italian FA had other ideas.
To refresh everyone’s memory, the FIGC handed Juventus the hefty points deduction based on (via Forbes): “The documentation from the club’s directors, with confessional value and from the relative manuscripts” as well as “further evidence relating to the concealment of documentation or even manipulation of invoices”.
They went on to say that Juve have “committed a sporting disciplinary offence, in a serious, repeated and prolonged nature” and that Patrici “had constantly operated a system of artificial capital gains.” Forbes add that “reference was also made to a number of swap deals Juve made during Paratici’s tenure, with the FIGC singling out exchanges made with clubs including Barcelona, Manchester City and Olimpique Marseille.”
Juventus released a statement in reply to the charges: “Juventus Football Club and its legal team have carefully read and will analyse in depth the justifications, recently published, pertaining to the decision of the United Sections of the Federal Court of Appeal.
“It is a document, predictable in terms of content, in light of the heavy decision, but vitiated by obvious illogicalities, motivational deficiencies and unfounded in terms of law, which the Company and individuals will oppose with an appeal to the Guarantee Board at CONI within the set deadlines.The validity of Juventus’ reasons will be asserted firmly, albeit with the respect due to the institutions that issued it.”
If you were to add those 15 points onto Juventus’ tally, the Bianconeri would be second, level on points with Inter Milan but ahead on goal difference (with a league meeting next week that would decide the head-to-head).
And Allegri is making sure his team know that, saying after the 1-0 defeat to Roma last weekend: “Every defeat or draw seems to make the world collapse on us because the ranking penalises us.
“Instead we have to be strong and think about the fact that momentarily we have 50 points and are second in the standings.”
Dusan Vlahovic’s return
After scoring six times in his first 10 Serie A appearances, it looked like Juve’s latest big-name striker was going to challenge for the Golden Boot in 2022/23. However, having returned from the World Cup with an injury, the Serbian forward now finds himself with a lot of work to do to catch Victor Osimhen at the top of the scoring charts.
Vlahovic did bag a brace agains Salernitana to leave him on eight for the season and Juventus could really do with his goals as they look to push up the table.
Juve’s Europa League campaign
After finishing third to Benfica and PSG in Group H, picking up just three points from a possible 18, Juve will play in the Europa League for the very first time since 2014, when they were knocked out in the semi-finals. They faced French side Nantes in their playoff game to get into the last-16, in what is an opportunity to win a European title for the first time since 1996 when they won the Champions League.
Things were evenly poised after the first leg following a 1-1 draw in Turin, with Ludovic Blas cancelling out Vlahovic’s opener, but Angel Di Maria turned on the style in the second leg, netting a hat-trick as Allegri’s men ran out 0-3 winners. They now face Freiburg and will take a 1-0 lead into their second leg.
Sampdoria team news
Sampdoria are bottom of Serie A and look to be on their way to the second tier of Italian football, 12 points form safety with 13 games left to play. And to make matters worse, the injuries are piling up.
First-choice goalkeeper Emil Audero has been ruled out after dislocating his shoulder in training and there are worries that he could be out for a while. Also absent for the hosts this weekend are Jeison Murillo, Andrea Conti, Ignacio Pussetto and Sam Lammers. Filip Djuricic could return from injury while Manolo Gabbiadini is back from suspension.
More live stream options:
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