Serie A strugglers Empoli face the daunting task of stopping Juventus this weekend. The hosts are in the relegation places after losing five of their first nine matches. Meanwhile, the Bianconeri sit four points clear of closest challengers Napoli after accumulating 25 points from a possible 27.
Where and when: Stadio Carlo Castellani – 27 October, kick-off 17:00
Where you can see Empoli vs. Juventus: Eleven Sports 2
Last time: Juventus were given a helping hand by Empoli stopper Lukasz Skorupski who was unfortunately credited with an own goal after the break. Alex Sandro sealed proceedings shortly after when the sides met in February 2017.
Empoli vs. Juventus Predictions and Preview
Last term’s runaway Serie B winners Empoli started life in Italy’s top flight brightly, beating Cagliari 2-0 on home soil. The Azzurri will come up against first and second, with a trip to Naples to follow the intimidating visit of Max Allegri’s champions. For the time being, boss Aurelio Andreazzoli has the dreaded vote of confidence from the Empoli board and can’t truly be judged on the next two fixtures, but positive displays are required. The Azzurri are 10/1 to earn a stunning success and available at 19/4 to pick up a share of the spoils.
It is back to domestic duties for Juventus after their impressive midweek exploits. The Bianconeri travelling party beat Manchester United 1-0 and controlled the tie from the first whistle to the last. Allegri’s side were on another level to Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, further highlighting their credentials as a potential tournament victor. Mario Mandzukic missed out on the triumph and is expected to be out for an additional two weeks with a knee injury. The burly Croatian was replaced by match winner on the night Paulo Dybala and the Argentine is expected to start once more.
|Pjanic to score anytime||2/1||Offer|
|Over 2.5 goals||13/20||Offer|
|Juventus to win 3-0||7/1||Offer|
Dybala has struggled for minutes this campaign but took his chance alongside returning idol Cristiano Ronaldo in a three man attack completed by Juan Cuadrado. Ronaldo is 21/10 to strike first and 11/5 to get two or more while Dybala is 5/6 in the anytime betting. Juventus are predictably the overwhelming favourites at 1/4 on the night.
One to watch for Empoli: Francesco Caputo leads the way for the Azzurri with three efforts to his name. The forward was lethal last year, scoring 27 goals and is Empoli’s chief attacking threat.
One to watch for Juventus: Douglas Costa came on the closing stages in Manchester, offering directness and fresh dynamism. The Brazilian may not start but will definitely cause problems in the second-half with his searing pace.
Long shot: Empoli played their part in the six-goal thriller with Frosinone in the previous round of games, proving they do possess a threat going forward. However, the Azzurri have not kept a clean sheet since early September and Ivan Provedel is likely to face a barrage of shots from kick-off. A Juventus 4-0 win is 14/1.