Juventus will aim to keep their title defence alive when they travel to Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday at 5pm (UK time).
Andrea Pirlo’s side recently lifted their ninth Supercoppa Italiana, beating Napoli 2-0 last week, and have reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals with a comprehensive 4-0 thrashing of second-tier SPAL in midweek, but their attention must now turn to a tricky venture to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, where Claudio Ranieri’s I Blucerchiati lie in wait.
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Where to watch Sampdoria vs Juventus on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Sampdoria 0-2 Juventus
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Sampdoria vs Juventus build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The hosts have endured a mixed season so far, which is perhaps best summed up by their position in the table, smack-bang in the middle. But in more recent fixtures, Ranieri’s men have started to find rhythm, winning three of their last four Serie A outings, including a 2-1 win over Inter Milan at the start of this month.
Pirlo will be wary of that giantkilling, but a 3-0 victory on matchday one against Sampdoria will breed confidence heading to the Gulf of Genoa this weekend. Juve remain in search of a record 10th successive Scudetto and are currently hot on the heels of front-runners AC Milan, with seven points currently separating the sides, and Pirlo’s men having played a game less.
- Sampdoria (vs Parma): Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Silva, Thorsby, Ramirez; Balde, Quagliarella.
- Juventus (vs SPAL): Buffon; Dragusin, Demiral, De Ligt, Frabotta; Bernardeschi, Fagioli, Rabiot, Ramsey; Kulusevski*, Morata.
Alex Ferrari, Lorenzo Tonelli and Manolo Gabbiadini remain out of action for the hosts, with the latter having gone under the knife last month with a hernia issue. For the reigning champions, Pirlo will be without Dejan Kulusevski who collected his fifth Serie A booking of the season last time out and is suspended. He is expected to make wholesale changes from the side who beat SPAL 4-0 on Wednesday night.
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Players to watch:
- Sampdoria: Keita Balde has seen his season curtailed by injury problems but when fit and available he remains an ominous threat for opposition defenders. In fact, stretching back to his Lazio days before Monaco splashed the cash on his signature in 2017, the Spain-born Senegal international has netted 14 goals in his last 16 Serie A starts. Should he find the back of the net against Juve, then he will score in two consecutive starts for the first time since December 2018 against Frosinone and Roma (with Inter), though in nine appearances against the Turin-based club, he is yet to score… or win.
- Juventus: Aaron Ramsey is just one appearance shy of reaching a personal milestone. Should Pirlo give the Welshman the nod this weekend, then he will reach 300 appearances in Europe’s top five leagues. The former Arsenal player is the second-youngest midfielder to have both scored and provided assists in each of the last 10 seasons across Europe’s top five leagues, with Philippe Coutinho the youngest. The 30-year-old Caerphilly-born playmaker is currently on a run of featuring in seven consecutive Serie A games under Pirlo — during which time he’s scored once and assisted twice — and will be desperate to continue that protracted spell in the first team.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Sampdoria: WWLWL
- Juventus: WLWWW
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