Morally devastated Juventus travel to the Stadio Via del Mare to take on hot Serie A relegation candidates Lecce on Saturday late afternoon.
Juventus’ bid to pull off a late Champions League Group H comeback fell apart in midweek as Benfica stunned them 4-3 at the Estadio da Luz to condemn them to a first group stage elimination since 2013/14.
While waiting for the club’s decision over his future, under-fire coach Massimiliano Allegri finds himself at a crossroads as every game from now on is a must-win.
Anything other than a victory at Via del Mare could put a final nail in his Bianconeri coffin, with fans’ calls for his dismissal increasing in volume.
The frustrated Italian manager could not have asked for a better place to embark on a mission to redeem himself than the out-of-sorts Giallorossi.
Indeed, tipped for a season-long battle against relegation, Marco Baroni’s men head into this round as one of only three Serie A sides yet to win at home this season.
But since a 2-1 defeat to last season’s runners-up Inter Milan on matchday two, Lecce have drawn their subsequent four home league matches.
Each stalemate in this four-game sequence yielded an identical 1-1 scoreline, highlighting the fighting spirit last season’s Serie B winners boast before the home crowd.
Coach Baroni wouldn’t mind another similar outcome, yet history firmly backs the visitors for success.
It’s no wonder Lecce will take the field as outsiders, considering they’ve managed just four victories across their 32 Serie A meetings with Juventus, last doing so in 2011.
However, after showing they know how to put up a fight at home, the Giallorossi will fancy their chances against the record-time Italian champions, whom they’ve failed to beat in their last four league H2Hs.
Defending set-pieces has been Lecce’s Achilles’ heel this season, as they’ve conceded a league joint-high nine goals from such plays, showing Baroni which aspect of the game he needs to improve.
Despite their Champions League fiasco, Juventus have won their last two Serie A fixtures without conceding and could make it three league victories in a row for the first time this season.
Nothing less will do for Allegri’s men since they are already well off the Scudetto pace while lagging five points behind fourth-placed Atalanta amid another embarrassing top-flight start.
Scoring has been a genuine issue for Juventus outside the Allianz Stadium this season, with the Bianconeri netting a meagre two goals across their five Serie A travels thus far (W1, D2, L2).
Lecce vs Juventus Potential Line-ups
Lecce (4-3-3): Wladimiro Falcone; Federico Baschirotto, Marin Pongracic, Samuel Umtiti, Giuseppe Pezzella; Joan Gonzalez, Morten Hjulmand, Kristoffer Askildsen; Gabriel Strefezza, Assan Ceesay, Lameck Banda.
Juventus (3-5-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Leonardo Bonucci, Federico Gatti; Juan Cuadrado, Weston McKennie, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot, Filip Kostic; Arkadiusz Milik, Moise Kean.
How to Watch?
Lecce vs Juventus, alongside all other Serie A fixtures, is available to watch online via Serie A live streams.
Lecce vs Juventus Prediction
Allegri has reached a ‘make or break’ point, so we expect Juventus to win away from home for the second game running following a narrow 1-0 victory at Torino.
Lecce 0-1 Juventus
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