After managing only a draw from their Serie A opener, Juventus host Empoli at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday in an attempt to get their first win of the season. The visitors, meanwhile, lost 3-1 against Lazio at home on their return to Italy’s top flight and need to start winning points if they want to avoid the drop.
Where and when: Allianz Stadium – 28 August, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Juventus vs. Empoli: BT Sport
Last time: Moise Kean scored the only goal for Juventus in a 1-0 victory over Empoli back in 2019 when these two teams last met.
Juventus v Empoli Predictions and Preview
Despite Massimiliano Allegri replacing Andrea Pirlo on the Juventus bench in the summer, last year’s weaknesses are still creeping in. The Bianconeri threw away a 2-0 lead against Udinese in their Serie A opener last Sunday in what was a two-sided display from Allegri’s men.
Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado were on target for Juventus before the break, but despite their dominant first-half display, the Bianconeri collapsed after the break. Two Wojciech Szczesny howlers allowed Udinese to snatch up a point, as Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu punished the Pole’s horrific mistakes.
Individual mistakes have been a real issue for Juventus in recent years as first Maurizio Sarri and then Pirlo couldn’t find a solution for them. Allegri needs to do something really quick, if he wants to do better than his predecessor and as things seem he will be counting on his attacking talent at the beginning of the season.
While Cristiano Ronaldo’s future remains in doubt and the Portuguese superstar was even benched against Udinese, Paulo Dybala has finally started to rediscover his form from a few seasons ago. The Argentinian was plagued by injuries last term, but was impressive in pre-season and has scored twice against Empoli in his career.
The Bianconeri have won eight consecutive games against the Azzurri, boasting the impressive 16-2 goal difference during that stretch.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Juventus to win and Over 2.5
Handicap: Juventus -1
Dybala to score first
Empoli haven’t defeated the Bianconeri in Serie A this century, as their winless run against this opponent is now 16 games long. The Azzurri’s last victory against Juventus was a 1-0 win that took place all the way back in 1999.
The Azzurri played well and even took the lead in the 3-1 defeat against Lazio in the first round. Individual mistakes and overall poor defending proved to be too costly, as Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men collapsed and conceded three goals in the first half.
The 67-year-old tactician, who begins his third reign at Empoli, needs to fix the team’s leaky defence, as it was the main reason he was sacked back in 2019 when he last guided the Azzurri in Serie A. It might be early, but things look quite similar this term, as Empoli are dangerous going forward, but just can’t keep a lead.
Considering all of the above, it’s not surprising to see Juventus as huge 2/9 favourites with William Hill to earn their first victory of the season on Saturday. Anything but a win would be a disaster for the Bianconeri, while Empoli would be thrilled to even get a point. The draw is priced at 11/2, while a victory for the visitors would be a huge upset and can be backed at 12/1.
One to watch for Juventus: Paulo Dybala has been in fine form for Juventus at the start of the season, as the Argentinian broke the deadlock against Udinese. La Joya is 7/2 to do the same against Empoli and will push to become the key player in attack, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo’s future still being at a crossroads.
One to watch for Empoli: Leonardo Mancuso was Empoli’s top scorer in Serie B last term with 20 strikes. The 29-year-old Italian came close to opening his Serie A account against Lazio last week and is 9/1 to score the opener against Juventus on Saturday.
Long shot: Juventus have scored at least two goals in six of their last eight games against Empoli. The Bianconeri most certainly have the attacking talent to do the same here, but bizarrely they continue to leak goals out of nothing. Considering all this a 3-1 win for Juve is available at 10/1, while those odds rise to 49/1 if you pair it with Dybala to score the opener.