Preview: Bologna vs. Juventus – prediction, team news, lineups
The Old Lady have not been in action since losing 1-0 to Lyon in the Champions League on February 26, but mid-table Bologna did play last weekend, suffering a 2-0 defeat at Laziio.
All Serie A matches will be played behind closed doors for the next 30 days as Italy deals with the coronavirus outbreak. There was a feeling that this particular match would be cancelled altogether, but it does go ahead, albeit without the presence of fans inside the stadium.
Supporters will not be allowed to be present at Serie A fixtures until at least April 3, but Bologna were in action last weekend, losing 2-0 to new league leaders Lazio.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side are currently 10th in Italy’s top flight with a record of nine wins, seven draws and 10 defeats from their 26 matches during the 2019-20 campaign.
They are only two points off seventh-placed AC Milan and might view this match as the perfect chance to overcome Juve considering the special set of circumstances surrounding Italian football at the moment.
The omens are not exactly terrific for the hosts, though, as they have lost each of their last seven Serie A matches with the Old Lady, failing to triumph in this particular fixture since February 2011.
As mentioned, postponement of fixtures due to the coronavirus means that Juve have not been on the field since losing 1-0 to Lyon in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on February 26.
Maurizio Sarri’s team have not played in Serie A since February 22, meanwhile, when they recorded a 2-1 victory over SPAL to make it successive league wins following a tricky spell.
Wednesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against AC Milan was postponed, meaning that it has been a long wait for the Italian champions as they look to bounce back from the loss in France.
Juve have slipped to second spot in Serie A behind Lazio, who have now played one more more. The Turin giants are only two points off the summit, though, and are therefore still in a strong position in the
This weekend is all about getting the job done for Sarri’s side, who will then host Lecce on March 13 before welcoming Lyon for the second leg of their last-16 Champions League clash on March 17.
Bologna Serie A form: WWWLDL
Juventus Serie A form: WLWLWW
Juventus form (all competitions): WLDWWL
Jerdy Schouten, Mattia Bani and Federico Santander will all be suspended for Bologna on Sunday having picked up yellow cards in the loss at Lazio last weekend.
Mattias Svanberg, Ladislav Krejci and Mitchell Dijks are injured, meanwhile, meaning that the home side will be far from at full strength for the clash.
Experienced midfielder Gary Medel could come into the side due to the volume of absences, although Musa Barrow and Riccardo Orsolini should both keep their spots.
Juve’s squad, meanwhile, is in good shape at the moment with Merih Demiral their only confirmed absentee.
Adrien Rabiot was set to miss out against Inter Milan last weekend with a heel problem, but the midfielder has recovered from the issue and should be involved on Sunday.
Sami Khedira and Giorgio Chiellini are both back from long-term injuries, but it seems likely that both will be on the bench this weekend with Sarri cautious over the pair.
Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala could both start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo as part of a front three.
Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Danilo, Denswil, Borini; Tomiyasu, Poli, Medel, Barrow; Orsolini, Palacio, Soriano
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Ramsey; Ronaldo, Higuain, Dybala