Wounded Juventus host Serie A basement club Crotone. The Scudetto holders were in European action in midweek and were comprehensively outplayed by Porto in the first-leg of their Round of 16 duel. Andrea Pirlo will expect a reaction from his troops who have improved domestically, but are still eight points adrift of leaders Inter.
Where and when: Allianz Stadium, Turin – 22 February, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Juventus vs. Crotone: Premier Sports 1
Last time: Simy and Alvaro Morata exchanged efforts.
Juventus v Crotone Predictions and Preview
Pirlo saw old team-mate and Bianconeri skipper Giorgio Chiellini limp off at Estadio do Dragao. The veteran may be approaching the end of his playing days but is still the best centre-half on the books and there is a nervous wait to see how long the calf injury will keep him out for.
With Leonardo Bonucci on the treatment table for the next 20 days, Merih Demiral and Matthijs de Ligt are set to start and the youngsters need to step up if they are to lead the Juventus defence for the next decade.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Juventus to win 2-0||5/1||Offer|
|Federico Chiesa to score first||9/2||Offer|
|Juventus to be leading after 15 minutes||13/5||Offer|
The Italian tactician also has decisions to make in midfield with Rodrigo Bentancur, Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey all flattering to deceive. Manuel Locatelli and Paul Pogba are the top targets in the summer and it is very possible the trio could all depart Turin when the transfer market opens.
On a more positive note, Paulo Dybala is finally back in the first-team fold. The Argentine has been recovering from a knee injury sustained in the 3-1 success over Sassuolo five weeks ago and his return is a huge boost for the club.
Dybala is unlikely to be thrown straight in from the opening whistle but will get a run out in the closing stages as he builds up his match fitness. The Bianconeri number 10 is 15/4 to notch last, while leading marskman Cristiano Ronaldo is 15/8 to open proceedings. Juan Cuadrado and Dejan Kulusevski are 27/20 and 8/5, respectively, to bag anytime and Juventus are 3/16 to chalk up the win.
Barring a miracle, travelling party Crotone will lose their top flight status in May. The Rossoblu have only collected three victories from 22 fixtures and have shipped far too many goals. Big striker Simy is likely to have no shortage of suitors and is 11/4 to register anytime and add to his haul of seven for the campaign. The visitors are 20/1 to pull off a shock result and a stalemate is 13/2.
One to watch for Juventus: Morata was introduced on the hour mark in Portugal and made a difference. The loanee has 10 goals and eight assists this term and is 7/2 to break the deadlock.
One to watch for Crotone: Junior Messias only began his playing career in 2015 and much like his partner Simy, looks at home in Serie A. The 29-year-old is a mightily attractive 22/1 to net last.
Long shot: Juventus have been the division frontrunners for the last decade but cannot afford any more slip ups if they are to claw back the deficit on Inter. The Bianconeri have drawn far too many games and a big performance is expected. A 5-0 outcome is 20/1.