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Udinese logo
Serie A | Gameweek 1
Aug 20, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Dacia Arena
Juventus logo

Udinese
0 - 3
Juventus


Kabasele (31')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Chiesa (2'), Vlahovic (20' pen.), Rabiot (45+3')
Sandro (27'), Danilo (35'), Locatelli (90+5')

Preview: Udinese vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Udinese and Juventus, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two months after meeting on the final day of last season, Juventus and Udinese reconvene on Sunday evening for their first Serie A fixture of the new campaign.

In a battle of the Bianconeri, Juve will try to turn over a new page following a tumultuous first half of 2023, while their hosts hope to end a dismal run of results against the Turin giants.


Match preview

Juventus' Federico Chiesa reacts on April 20, 2023© Reuters

Although the re-imposition of a points penalty, a painful European exit and successive league defeats saw Juventus stumble towards the end of last season, beating Udinese at least provided a minor flourish on the final day of their troubled 2022-23 campaign.

Docked 10 points for financial misdeeds, Juve ultimately trailed in seventh in Serie A - far adrift of Scudetto winners Napoli - and to add insult to injury, they were then stripped of a Europa Conference League place when UEFA imposed a year-long ban from Europe.

In the rare absence of continental competition, embattled coach Max Allegri will be eyeing an overdue return to form in the Italian top flight and an assault on the Coppa Italia, although controversy has continued to plague the Old Lady this summer.

Overshadowing pre-season preparations - which involved a high-profile trip to the United States, where they got the better of both Milan and Real Madrid - Juve's hierarchy have shunned long-serving captain Leonardo Bonucci, who rather awkwardly remains at the club but is no longer part of Allegri's plans.

While negotiations to bring ex-Inter striker Romelu Lukaku to Turin apparently continue, Allegri's sole major signing remains USA winger Tim Weah, though Manuel Locatelli and Arkadiusz Milik have both had their loan deals converted to permanent contracts.

As well as relegating Bonucci to the sidelines, experienced campaigners such as Juan Cuadrado and Angel Di Maria have already departed this summer, perhaps leaving space for some talented youngsters who broke into the first-team set-up last term.

For all their off-field woes and joyless playing style, Juve kept 20 clean sheets in the league last season - fewer only than Lazio - and Allegri is likely to seek his 250th win as Juventus manager in similar style this week.

Ahead of Sunday's trip to Udine, Juve have won the most Serie A season openers in history, with a total of 59 victories featuring six of their last seven.

Udinese coach Andrea Sottil on May 4, 2023© Reuters

In recent years, Udinese's Dacia Arena has proved particularly fertile ground for Juventus, who have lost just one of the clubs' last 15 league meetings and won 12 times in the process.

Incidentally, this will be the fifth time that the two teams have faced each other on matchday one of a top-flight season, with two wins for the Old Lady and one for the Fruilani to date.

Having lost their last four games of 2022-23, Udinese ended a campaign that started quite promisingly with their worst Serie A losing streak since 2018.

After hurtling out of the blocks before the World Cup, Andrea Sottil's side had to settle for 12th place come June, with a total of 13 draws hampering their push for a top-half finish.

Nonetheless, during Sottil's first year in charge only Bologna picked up more points than Udinese from losing positions, and the Bianconeri also bounced back from conceding a shock equaliser at home to Catanzaro in last week's Coppa Italia tie to win 4-1 in their first outing of the new season.

Udinese form (all competitions):
  • W


Juventus pre-season form:
  • W
  • W
  • D



Team News

Juventus' Paul Pogba is seen before the match on March 9, 2023© Reuters

Only Moise Kean and long-term absentee Mattia De Sciglio are set to miss Sunday's season opener for Juventus, who have seen midfield duo Nicolo Fagioli and Paul Pogba passed fit.

In a familiar lineup, only wing-back Tim Weah is expected to make his Serie A debut for the visitors, with Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa likely to be paired up front.

The latter has been involved in five league goals against Udinese to date and scored the winner in June's 1-0 win at the Dacia Arena; meanwhile, Vlahovic netted one goal every 88 minutes last August, including a brace on matchday one of the 2022-23 season.

Though Destiny Udogie has joined Tottenham Hotspur, Christian Kabasele and Jordan Zemura both moved from England to Udine this summer and could play for the hosts against Juventus.

Despite intense speculation, Udinese have retained Beto and Lazar Samardzic, and the former scored in last week's cup win over Catanzaro. Brazilian forward Brenner, who bagged 27 goals during two years in Major League Soccer, joins them in Andrea Sottil's squad after switching from FC Cincinnati.

The Fruilani are still without three men who suffered serious knee injuries last term: Gerard Deulofeu is set to return in mid-September, Kingsley Ehizibue will be back later this year, but Enzo Ebosse could complete his recovery from a cruciate ligament rupture in the next couple of weeks.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Perez, Bijol, Kabasele; Ebosele, Zarraga, Walace, Lovric, Zemura; Thauvin, Beto

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Sandro; Weah, Miretti, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Chiesa, Vlahovic


SM words green background

We say: Udinese 0-1 Juventus

For all their flaws, Max Allegri's Juventus generally find a way to get the job done, and they can continue their dominance over Udinese this weekend. Kicking off a fresh campaign with a typically no-frills win, Juve should be able to shut out their hosts for 90 minutes and sneak a goal or two at some stage.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Udinese vs Juventus

Udinese
18.9%
Draw
3.8%
Juventus
77.4%
53
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