By 90Min
November 18, 2017

Reigning champions Juventus resume the defence of their Serie A title following the international break away to Sampdoria on Sunday.

Following their own impressive start to the season, Sampdoria are unlikely to be a simple task for Juve to negotiate in this mid-afternoon clash.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the match.


Recent Form

Tullio M. Puglia/GettyImages

Both team's were victorious in their final fixture before the international break, though Juve survived a major scare in doing so.

At home to winless, pointless bottom side Benevento, Juventus trailed to a nineteenth minute free kick from Amato Ciciretti, before second half goals from Gonzalo Higuain - his fourth in three league games - and Juan Cuadrado turned the game around to give Juventus their fourth league win in a row and keep them just a point behind league leaders Napoli.

Sampdoria meanwhile enjoyed a 2-0 victory over struggling local rivals Genoa in the Derby della Laterna thanks to goals from Gaston Ramirez and Fabio Quagliarella, a result that keeps Samp sixth in the table, five points off the Champions League places.


Key Battle


Gonzalo Higuain vs Matias Silvestre

Tullio M. Puglia/GettyImages

While earlier in the season the man providing the main soource of goals for Juve was Paulo Dybala, that responsibility has been taken up by Gonzalo Higuain in the last few games.

Higuain has found the net four times in the last three games compared with a single strike for Dybala, the confidence of consistently having at least one world class striker in form throughout the course of the year must do wonders for the rest of the Juventus squad.

Genoa had plenty of chances to punish Sampdoria last time out, and with Higuain leading the line, Juventus will surely not be so generous to their hosts. 

The task of stopping Juve's attack will likely fall to Higuain's fellow Argentine Matias Agustin Silvestre. The centre back has been Sampdoria's most reliable feature at the back this season, appearing in eleven of their twelve league games so far, but against compatriots Higuain and Dybala, Silvestre looks set to have his work cut out on Sunday.


Team News

MIGUEL MEDINA/GettyImages

Massimo Allegri's only selection problem's could come in midfield. Miralem Pjanic is still recovering from a thigh injury that kept him out of the Benevento win, while Juan Cuadrado is the only one from that match who could be doubtful, having returned early from international duty with Colombia due to a groin injury.

For their part Sampdoria have no players missing through bans or injuries, so will potentially be unchanged from the win over Genoa.


Predicted Sampdoria Lineup: Viviano; Strinic, Ferrari, Silvestre, Berezynski; Linetty, Torreira, Praet; Ramirez; Zapata, Quagliarella

Predicted Juventus Lineup: Buffon; Sandro, Rugani, Chiellini, Lichsteiner; Khedira, Marchisio; Costa, Dybala, Matuidi; Higuain


Prediction


Sampdoria haven't won in their last eight meetings with Juventus, taking just a single draw in that time, and will be clear outsiders despite their decent start to the season.

With Napoli hosting AC Milan the night before, Juventus may need to take the three points to keep pace with the league leaders.

Juventus will be expecting to win this one, if not just to give a much needed boost to that Italian backline that suffered World Cup heartbreak against Sweden on Monday.

Prediction: Sampdoria 0-3 Juventus

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