Juventus take on Atalanta in their penultimate Serie A game of the season at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Having comfortably retained their domestic crown ahead of the chasing pack this season, the Bianconeri will be looking to sign off on another successful domestic campaign on a high, though the champions face tough opposition in Atalanta.
Official! Massimiliano Allegri is going to leave Juventus, he will NOT be the manager next season
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 17, 2019
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are looking to consolidate fourth place to seal what would be a remarkable feat of Champions League qualification for next season, ahead of the likes of Roma and Milan, though a trip to face Juve poses a considerable obstacle on their course.
Massimiliano Allegri will be overseeing his final home game as manager of the Old Lady before moving on in the summer, and the Italian will be looking to bow out on a high in front of the Juventus fans.
Here is 90min’s preview of Sunday’s huge Serie A encounter in Turin.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 19 May|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Allianz Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||N/A|
Juventus face a potential selection headache in defence, with Leonardo Bonucci suffering with a bruised ankle and fellow centre back Daniele Rugani still recovering from inflammation. Both missed the 2-0 defeat to Roma last time out, though they could be in line to return on Sunday.
Douglas Costa remains another uncertainty, having not featured since April, whilst midfielder Sami Khedira and goalkeeper Mattia Perin are ruled out for the remainder of the season with knee and shoulder problems respectively.
Meanwhile, Gasperini will be without two defenders for Atalanta’s trip to Turin. Rafael Toloi remains sidelined with a tendon injury, whilst Jose Luis Palomino is suspended with an accumulation of yellow cards.
|Juventus||Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Mandzukic, Ronaldo|
|Atalanta||Gollini; Masiello, Mancini, Djimsiti; Hateboer, Freuler, De Roon, Castagne; Gomez; Ilicic, Zapata|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have met twice already this season, and the most recent encounter will offer little cause for optimism from a Juventus perspective.
Atalanta produced an emphatic display to stun Juventus in a 3-0 victory in the Coppa Italia final in January, when a Duvan Zapata brace inspired Gasperini’s side to pull off a huge upset.
A 2-2 draw between the sides when they last met in Serie A provides a further cloud over the Bianconeri’s preparations for Sunday’s game, as Zapata was again at the double on that occasion, with Juve requiring an own goal and a late Cristiano Ronaldo strike to salvage a point.
The release of pressure from having retained their title with aplomb this season has had a less than positive impact on Juventus’ recent form.
Allegri’s side have not won any of their last three outings, as the champions’ retention of their title has coincided with a tough run of fixtures and a disappointing Champions League elimination at the hands of Ajax.
Juve will be looking to end their campaign on a high and give Allegri the final results that his overall success at the club merits.
Four successive victories in Serie A built great momentum for Gasperini’s side ahead of the showpiece event in Rome, though the disappointment of defeat in the cup final came as a disappointing blow for the Nerazzurri.
Here is a look at how both sides have fared in their previous five outings:
|Roma 2-0 Juventus
|Atalanta 0-2 Lazio
|Juventus 1-1 Torino
|Atalanta 2-1 Genoa
|Inter 1-1 Juventus
|Lazio 1-3 Atalanta
|Juventus 2-1 Fiorentina
|Atalanta 2-0 Udinese
|Juventus 1-2 Ajax
|Atalanta 2-1 Fiorentina
Juventus’ uninspired recent run of form suggest that the champions are perhaps victims of their own success, with the pressure having long been relieved since they secured their 35th league title.
The Bianconeri have been far from their best level in recent weeks, but the announcement in midweek of Allegri’s impending departure is likely to give Juventus one final push to end the season on a high.
However, Atalanta’s recent form and their recent record against Juventus suggests that they will provide a big test for Juventus on Sunday, with Duvan Zapata having scored four goals in his previous two games against Allegri’s men, and the visitors will be keen to cement fourth place.
Prediction: Juventus 1-1 Atalanta