Juventus continue their quest for a ninth successive Serie A title at home to Bologna on Saturday afternoon.
The Old Lady overcame rivals Inter 2-1 at San Siro in their latest league game to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign, new coach Maurizio Sarri winning seven of his first nine Bianconeri matches in all competitions.
A late Gonzalo Higuain goal helped the champions see off the challenge of the Nerazzurri before the international break. However, opponents Bologna could not protect their lead against Lazio as the side from the capital twice levelled to steal a draw at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.
Here's our preview of the clash in Turin.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 19 October|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Allianz Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 2|
Sarri must manage a minor injury crisis in his backline after losing three senior defenders to injury in recent weeks.
Giorgio Chiellini will not return to action until the spring as he recovers from a knee ligament rupture, with full-back pairing Danilo - who has an outside chance of being fit - and Mattia De Sciglio is also expected to sit out Saturday's meeting due to bicep and shoulder issues, respectively.
Juve's list of absentees is completed by winger Douglas Costa and reserve goalkeeper Mattia Perin. Comparatively, Bologna have just two men missing through injury in the form of defenders Mitchell Dijks and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Additionally, midfielder Gary Medel is suspended for I Rossoblu having been sent off in the match with Lazio at the start of the month.
|Juventus||Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Sandro; Pjanic, Khedira, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Ronaldo, Higuain.|
|Bologna||Skorupski; Desnwil, Danilo, Bani, Krejci; Paz, Poli; Orsolini, Svanberg, Sansone; Palacio.|
Head to Head Record
Juventus have had much the better of it in the sides' previous 25 encounters, tasting victory on 19 occasions and losing only once to their fellow northerners.
Bologna's sole triumph came in February 2011, with La Vecchia Signora extending their winning run to six matches courtesy of a 1-0 success at the start of 2019.
I Rossoblu frustrated the visitors for much of the contest, but came unstuck shortly after the hour-mark when Paolo Dybala pounced on a loose ball in the box to slot a decisive goal into the bottom corner.
Bologna are without a win in five fixtures following back-to-back victories over SPAL and Brescia in the early stages of 2019/20. Nevertheless, Sinisa Mihajlovic's men have scavenged nine points so far this campaign to leave themselves in a healthy position in mid-table.
While the underdogs lay in 11th place, Juve's strong beginning to the year kept them within touching distance of Inter at the Serie A summit, before their triumph at the San Siro put the Bianconeri top of the pile.
However, Sarri's side haven't been particularly accurate in front of goal, despite the firepower within the squad. As a result, they are the lowest scoring team currently occupying a Champions League qualification spot in Italy.
Here's how the pair got on in their last five matches:
|Juventus 2-1 Hellas Verona (21/9)||Brescia 3-4 Bologna (15/9)|
|Brescia 1-2 Juventus (24/9)||Bologna 1-2 Roma (22/9)|
|Juventus 2-0 SPAL (28/9)||Genoa 0-0 Bologna (25/9)|
|Juventus 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen (01/10)||Udinese 1-0 Bologna (29/9)|
|Inter 1-2 Juventus (06/10)||Bologna 2-2 Lazio (06/10)|
Everything points towards a Juventus victory and that is precisely what the Bianconeri should get this weekend following an impressive period of form.
Their rhythm and flow may have been slightly affected by the international break, yet that is unlikely to have any significant baring on the outcome, given the presence of players like Cristiano Ronaldo at the Allianz Stadium.
The Portuguese star - as well as many of his clubmates - produce moments of magic on the regular, meaning sublime individual displays often make up for disjointed team performances.
Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Bologna