Juventus will look to get back to winning ways in Serie A and strengthen their grip on the top four when they play host to Parma on Wednesday at 7.45pm (UK time).
Andrea Pirlo’s side suffered a 1-0 loss to Atalanta last time out, which subsequently allowed Gian Piero Gasperini’s Goddess to leapfrog their Turin counterparts into third and just make things a tad uncomfortable for the reigning champions, with Napoli just two points behind in fifth.
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Where to watch Juventus vs Parma on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Juventus 3-0 Parma
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Juventus vs Parma build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s been a difficult season for Pirlo in the Juventus hotseat and things could turn sour soon if his side are not careful. As it stands The Old Lady are fourth but Napoli are just two points behind in fifth with seven games to go, so Pirlo simply cannot afford to see anymore points drop by the wayside, or risk not qualifying for the Champions League.
As for Parma they are experiencing their own problems and are in serious risk of dropping down to Serie B unless fortunes turn soon. Mid-season appointment Roberto D’Aversa has been unable to galvanise the troops and navigate a path to safety, with The Crusaders winless in their last four games and now 10 points adrift of safety. It would take a remarkable comeback from here to escape danger.
- Juventus (vs Atalanta): Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Chiellini, Sandro; McKennie, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa*; Dybala, Morata.
- Parma (vs Cagliari): Sepe; Laurini, Osorio, Bani, Pezzella; Grassi, Brugman, Kurtic; Man, Kucka*, Cornelius.
The big news for Juve is that Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the matchday squad after missing the 1-0 reversal to Atalanta over the weekend with a flexor injury.
“Ronaldo and Buffon will play, and I think Dybala too. He must play to recover his best condition, the Atalanta game was really tough, but I believe he put in a good performance,” Pirlo said in his pre-Parma press conference.
The Italian coach went on to add that Federico Chiesa will miss the contest owing a muscle problem, with the versatile attacker joining Merih Demiral on the sidelines.
Parma meanwhile have a host of problems with Bayern Munich loanee Joshua Zirkzee sidelined, as well as Roberto Inglese with an ankle issue, Simone Iacoponi, Juraj Kucka and Andrea Conti.
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Players to watch:
- Juventus: With the next seven games potentially make or break for Pirlo, he will be desperate to just see out the season now with no hiccups and with a golden ticket for next season’s Champions League. For that scenario to transpire he will need hard workers and stalwarts to come to the fore and ensure the next few months are relatively undramatic; simply put: no more defeats. One player who has really stepped up this term and proven a tenacious grafter is Adrien Rabiot, the once temperamental Parisian who has got his head down and impressed in the middle of the turf for Juve, underpinned by his 57 tackles in Serie A this term (the most of any Juve player). If Pirlo is to avoid a banana skin result and get back to winning ways, then he will need his reliable Frenchman to continue orbiting the pitch with industry and enterprise, snuffing out danger and dictating the tempo.
- Parma: It’s a monumental ask but football is a competitive sport where anyone can win on their day (which is why we love the sport). That mantra should give D’Aversa a crumb of comfort and a result here could prove the catalyst for a resurgence and a late ‘great escape’ for Parma, but only if they win. A draw is simply not good enough at this stage; make no mistake, they would take that against Juve, but time is seriously running out and now (to use an old cliche) every game is a cup final. So, step up Jasmin Kurtic, Parma’s industrious midfield metronome who is not averse to putting in the hard yards and leaving the pitch with his shorts muddy. The experienced Slovenian has been an admirable custodian of Italian football, representing the likes of Atalanta, Fiorentina and Torino during his time in Serie A, but this current predicament is arguably his biggest challenge. Against the full force of Juve, D’Aversa will be turning to his more experienced players to bring stability and influence to the side, and that means a big performance from Kurtic is needed.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Juventus: LWWDL
- Parma: LLDLW
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