After a thumping victory at home against Sassuolo, Juventus will now be travelling to Luigi Ferraris Stadium as they face Sampdoria in the matchday 2. On the other hand, the ligurian club didn’t have one of the best starts to the season as they lost 2-0 to Atalanta at home and will surely be looking to bounce back.Here’s everything you need to know about the game in today’s Match Preview by The Calcio Guy:
Juventus kicked off their Serie A campaign with a 3-0 win against Sassuolo last week. Debutant Angel Di Maria made it to the score sheet as he scored the first Juventus goal of the season, followed by a brace of goals from Bianconeri’s star striker Dusan Vlahovic.
Serie A Form Guide: W
Meanwhile Sampdoria struggled in the first home game of the season as they lost to travelling side Atalanta. Sampdoria are still trying to adapt to the life without their star players like Candreva and Damsgaard, who both went out in this summer. Juventus can capitalise on the flaws that Giampaolo’s men possess.
Serie A Form Guide: L
Injury Update & Team News:
Sampdoria:Sampdoria will be without right-back Andrea Conti, while there are doubts over the availability of young midfielder Simone Trimboli. Other than that, there are no known issues and manager Marco Giampaolo is expected to have a fully fit squad at his disposal.
Injured: Andrea Conti
Doubtful: Simone Trimboli
Juventus: Meanwhile, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri will be unable to call upon the services of former Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain attacker Angel Di Maria, Brazilian striker Kaio Jorge, French midfielder Paul Pogba, Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and winger Federico Chiesa. Meanwhile, there are doubts over the availability of experienced centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.
Injured: Federico Chiesa, Wojciech Szczesny, Angel Di Maria, Paul Pogba, Kaio Jorge
Doubtful: Leonardo Bonucci
Sampdoria Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Emil Audero, Bartosz Bereszynski, Jeison Murillo, Omar Colley, Tommaso Augello, Ronaldo Vieira, Valerio Verre, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Tomas Rincon, Filip Duricic, Francesco Caputo
Juventus Predicted XI (4-4-2): Mattia Perin, Mattia De Sciglio, Federico Gatti, Gleison Bremer, Filip Kostic, Juan Cuadrado, Denis Zakaria, Manuel Locatelli, Weston McKennie, Moise Kean, Dusan Vlahovic
Head to Head:
In 29 head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Juventus hold a clear advantage. They have won 17 games, lost five and drawn seven.The two clubs last faced each other earlier this year in Serie A, with Juventus beating Sampdoria 3-1. An own goal from veteran Japanese centre-back Maya Yoshida and a brace from Spanish striker Alvaro Morata ensured victory for Juventus. A goal from German midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri proved to be a mere consolation for Sampdoria.
A Fact about the Opponents:
The Ligurian club was actually formed by the merger of two rival clubs Sampierdarense and Andrea Doria in 1946, which came together to battle it out against their common rival Genoa. Hence, the name “Sampdoria” was derived from the club names of the former two clubs (Samp from Sampierdarense and Doria from Andrea Doria). Even the kit colours represent the essence of both the clubs. The Club has somehow managed to incorporate all the colours of the former clubs in one design (blue-white from Sampierdarense and white-red-black from Andrea Doria).This has established them as a club that has one of the most unique home kit designs consisting of 4 different colours, which is blue with white, red and black bands across the centre of the shirt, hence the nickname blucerchiati (“blue-circled”).
Paul Pogba’s return: A complex conundrum for Juventus
The return of Paul Pogba to Juventus has left both fans and football analysts puzzled and disappointed.
What was meant to be a revitalizing comeback for Pogba has turned into a financial and tactical setback, raising questions about the decision-making behind this move.
The Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport sheds light on this enigma, revealing the significant cost incurred by Juventus and the unexpected absence of the French midfielder from the pitch.
The financial quandary
The excitement surrounding Pogba’s return was quickly overshadowed by the staggering financial implications it brought.
At an astonishing cost of 50,000 euros per minute, Juventus’ decision to welcome back the charismatic midfielder has proven to be a costly gamble.
This hefty price tag not only intensifies the scrutiny on Pogba’s performance but also prompts reflection on whether such a significant investment was justified.
A season marred by injury
Pogba’s previous season at Juventus was marred by a series of unfortunate injuries, resulting in minimal playing time.
Throughout the season, he managed to accumulate less than 400 minutes on the field, a far cry from the expectations set upon his return.
This persistent struggle with injuries casts doubt on Pogba’s ability to contribute effectively, leaving fans concerned about his overall impact on the team.
As the anticipation for the new Serie A season builds, Pogba’s notable absence during matches has become a topic of intrigue.
His inexplicable non-appearance on the field has prompted speculation and confusion among football enthusiasts.
Is his absence due to strategic considerations, lingering fitness issues, or something entirely different?
Paul Pogba’s conspicuous absence has triggered significant uncertainty regarding his potential contributions to Juventus.
While his return was initially anticipated to bolster the team’s midfield and rekindle the brilliance he displayed in his previous tenure with the club, it has instead raised skepticism.
The question lingers: Can Pogba overcome his injury setbacks and replicate his past successes, or is his return destined to be a misguided endeavor?
Strained relations and missed opportunities
Interestingly, Pogba’s absence has not only puzzled fans but also strained potential relations with other clubs.
Reports suggest that even the prospect of joining Saudi Arabian football, often considered a destination for high-profile players, has been affected by the ambiguity surrounding Pogba’s situation.
The lack of clarity has left potential opportunities hanging in the balance, further complicating the narrative surrounding his return.
Five names that could replace Dušan Vlahović at Juventus
Dušan Vlahović could be on his way to Paris Saint-Germain soon, which means Juventus will have a vacant spot up top. Romelu Lukaku seems in pole position to replace the Serbian if he departs, but Max Statman takes a look at five other names that could replace Vlahović.
Juventus have already signed an American player this window, Timothy Weah from Lille, but there’s an even bigger talent from the States out there at the moment. Folarin Balogun had a great season on loan Reims in the French top flight last season. The 22-year-old managed 21 goals and 2 assists in 37 appearances, with only Kylian Mbappé and Alexandre Lacazette managing to score more. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Reims finished only 11th in Ligue 1.
In this graph we see the comparison between Vlahović (blue) and Balogun (pink). The current Juventus striker only surpasses the American in the aerial area and received passes. Judging from the data, Balogun seems like a more active kind of striker than Vlahović.
Balogun has returned to Arsenal from loan, but it seems like he’ll soon leave the Gunners again. The 22-year-old is valued at €30M by Transfermarkt and has a contract until June 2025.
When moving a little up north in France, we’ll find another striker with a perhaps quite similar profile to Balogun. Jonathan David of Lille is a dream option of many Juventini, which is not suprising when seeing his numbers. The Canadian has been managing excellent numbers at Lille for years and is definetly ready for the next step. In that regard, he is probably more ready than Balogun, who has a little less experience on the big stage. David has played in the Champions League and World Cup, which probably makes him more expensive as well. Transfermarkt values the 23-year-old €60M and he too has a contract until the summer of 2025.
When you compare David (yellow) with Vlahović, you see a familiar pattern. Just like Balogun, David is better in most aspects, except for the aerial department and non-penalty expected goals. Note: Vlahović is definetly not the best penalty taker in the world and has missed a few. Again, David seems to be a striker more active and involved, and not just a pure goalscorer.
It’s been too long since we spoke about Italy, so we head back to the peninsula. Bergamo, to be exact. Rasmus Højlund only joined Atalanta last summer from Sturm Graz, but he has already confirmed himself as one of the biggest talents in Serie A. Højlund is quick, technical, and has excellent hold-up play, however, he is still quite raw. Many teams are after him, so a deal would be far from easy to make. The 20-year-old Dane needed some time to get used to Italy, but when he found his feet, the goals came. He scored 9 goals and assited 2 in his debut season.
Højlund is the youngest of the five names we’re suggesting, but arguably has the highest ceiling. In the graph we can see that, like Balogun, Højlund (purple) only gets beaten by Vlahović in aerials and passes received. A personal feeling, however, is that Højlund fits the description of a tradiotnal number 9 a little bit better than David, for example. Perhaps he would be a more one on one replacement of Vlahović.
Transfermarkt values the Danish sensation at €45M, who has a contract until the summer of 2027. It seems safe to say Juventus would have to splash the cash for Højlund, which makes a deal unlikely.
The name of Gianluca Scamacca must ring some bells for Serie A lovers. The 24-year-old has a rich history in the Italian top flight, playing for both Genoa and Sassuolo. At the latter, he really developed himself well. During his last season in Serie A, he netted 16 goals in 36 games for the Neroverdi. These excellent numbers made him a target for many clubs last summer, including some interest from Juventus, but West Ham would go on to secure the services of the Italian. His first season for the Hammers is reminiscent of Vlahović second season at Juventus. Injuries and disappointing performances marked Scamacca’s first year abroad.
Scamacca featured 27 times for West Ham in both the Premier League and Conference League, finding the net only 8 times. Scamacca had to accept the role of second fiddle for parts of the season, even though he had a price tag of €36M. However, Scamacca has shown what he’s got in the past, and remains one of the better Italian strikers out there. He’s technical and has rocket right foot.
Via DataMB / Note: Vlahović has more than double the amount of minutes than Scamacca managed.
Like noted before, the seasons of Vlahović and Scamacca (orange) share similar trajectories. The graph confirms this. Scamacca, with his 1.95M height, is the only one in the list to beat Vlahović in the air. However, the Serbian has more expected goals and assists than the Italian.
Scamacca could be an easier deal for the Bianconeri, since he is only valued at €22M by Transfermarkt after that disappointing season abroad. He has a contract until 2027, but if the Hammers would want to lose him, Juventus could offer a solution. Scamacca has talked about how he’d like to return to Roma, where he played in the youth, but we know what the words of football players mean these days. Spoiler: not a lot.
What would a list like this be without one big suprise no one saw coming? Juventini certainly haven’t experienced enough shock yet these days, so here’s a crazy suggestion: Gent’s Gift Orban. In his first season at Gent, the 20-year-old Nigerian managed 20 goals in 22 appearances in both the Belgian and Conference League. Gift joined Gent from Stabæk, a Norwegian team, for only €3.3M in January. He has blown away many people in Belgium and his rise hasn’t gone unnoticed. Lille seem to be very interested in securing the signature of Orban, so teams have to swoop in quickly if they want to have a chance.
Of course, Orban (green) plays in the Belgium league, which is obviously weaker than Serie A, where Vlahović makes his minutes. However, judging also from the graph, Orban has massive talent and potential. The Nigerian striker beats Vlahović on all aspects, except the aerial area. Transfermarkt has valued Orban at €20M and he has a contract until 2027. He’s definetly the wildcard option amongst the other’s on the list, but without question has a massive future ahead of him.
The Allegri era at Juventus: From excitement to disappointment, fans call for management change
Massimiliano Allegri’s return to Juventus has been underwhelming, with fans expressing their discontent with the team’s performance under his management.
Despite the Juventus board’s intentions to keep Allegri beyond this season, some fans believe that a change in management may be necessary.
Allegri’s return to Juventus was greeted with much excitement, given his successful stint with the club before leaving in 2019. However, his recent performance has been compared unfavourably with that of his predecessors, Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo.
During his lone season at Juventus, Sarri led the team to their ninth consecutive Serie A title, but he was dismissed after the team’s early exit in the Champions League.
Pirlo, on the other hand, was entrusted with the reins of the team but struggled to replicate Sarri’s success. The former midfielder led Juventus to fourth place in Serie A, narrowly qualifying for the Champions League, but he was sacked at the end of the season.
Allegri’s return was supposed to herald a return to the glory days for Juventus, but his first season back was marred by inconsistency and underperformance. Juventus finished fourth in Serie A and were eliminated in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
The current season has also been challenging for Allegri, with the team struggling to find consistency. Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, and they could risk of missing out on the top four in Serie A, with just a handful of games remaining.
Some fans have expressed their frustration with Allegri’s style of play, which they believe is too conservative and defensive. They have also criticised his team selection and substitutions, with some suggesting that he has not been able to get the best out of some of the team’s star players.
Massimiliano Allegri recently reached his 100th game in charge of Juventus since his return, but his statistics during this period have not lived up to the expectations of the club and its fans.
In his 100 games in charge, Allegri has recorded 54 wins, which translates to a 54% win rate. He has also overseen 20 draws and suffered 26 defeats. While 150 goals have been scored by the team under his management, they have also conceded 100 goals.
Another notable statistic is that Allegri has used 100 different lineups during his time in charge, which may reflect his difficulty in finding the right combination of players to deliver consistent results.
These figures reveal a mixed bag of results for Allegri since his return to Juventus, with the team’s performances falling short of expectations.
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