Preview: Juventus vs Sassuolo

It has been a summer of big spending and squad changes in Turin as Juventus enter the new Serie A (SA) campaign without the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Paulo Dybala and Merih Demiral. However they have spent the vast majority of the €80m+ received on defensive pair Andrea Cambiaso & Bremer, and that’s not to mention the acquisition of Italy Euro 2020 star Federico Chiesa.

As far as Juventus are concerned, the Scudetto simply must come home this season as boss Masimiliano Allegri stated that it’s the players “duty” to win it. The Old Lady have not won the title in the last two seasons, their longest run without a domestic crown since a turbulent period between 2007-11, while 2021/22 was their first trophyless season in 11 years!

The pressure isn’t quite as intense for Sassuolo, who begin the new SA campaign having already been eliminated from the Coppa Italia by second-tier opponents Modena. Finishing between 8th-11th in each of their last five top flight campaigns, another top-half finish is likely the goal for Sassuolo this season.

Achieving such a feat may be more difficult than ever for visiting manager Alessio Dionisi, who stated ahead of this game that “my only hope is that no one else leaves” after their mass exodus of players, including last season’s top-scorer Scamacca (G16). However with new arrivals joining in equal measure headed by a couple of €10m+ signings, it’s anyone’s guess how Sassuolo will do this term.

Players to watch: No SA player has scored more home goals since 2020/21 than Juventus’ Dušan Vlahović, and all of his SA goal involvements against Sassuolo also came in home games (G2, A1). As for Sassuolo, €12m man Agustín Álvarez arrives from Penarol looking to continue his fine scoring form that saw him average a goal every other game in the 2021 season (G13).

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Perin; Danilo, Bonucci, Bremer; Cuadrado, Zakaria, Locatelli, Fagioli, Kostic; Di Maria; Vlahovic

Sassuolo possible starting lineup:
Consigli; Muldur, Erlic, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Henrique, Frattesi, Thorstvedt; Berardi, Alvarez, Ceide

Prediction: Home / Over 2.5

Key Points In This Match:

  • Due to an upheaval in personnel – plus a series of injuries and suspensions – Juve may struggle to settle in to the new Serie A season at the first attempt, and it would be no surprise if they fail to take three points.
  • Sassuolo regularly recover from losing their best players – including Manuel Locatelli to their hosts – so remain good value for a first-day draw.

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