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    Juventus to squeeze by Udinese in the Coppa Italia

    Juventus FC vs Udinese Calcio Preview 15/01/2020

    14 January 2020 | Coppa Italia | Preview
    Juventus to squeeze by Udinese in the Coppa Italia
    Marco Canoniero /

    Serie A league leaders Juventus step out of league play to host Udinese on Wednesday night in the Coppa Italia. The round of 16 will see one of the two sides eliminated from the competition and go no further in this year’s tournament.

    The round of 16 features just two non-Serie A clubs, therefore, the winner of the tie will most likely face off with another top-flight team in the quarterfinals. While league form doesn’t always dictate just how a midweek cup match will turn out, it is difficult not to look at league play ahead of the fixture.

    Juventus are back atop Serie A after winning at the weekend, 2-1, against Roma. The win moves them two points above Inter Milan, who drew 1-1 with Atalanta; and it keeps them six points above third-place Lazio.

    Meanwhile, Udinese have won three straight games and are suddenly 10 points above the relegation zone. Manager Luca Gotti has the Zebrette playing good football with a trio of wins over Cagliari, Lecce, and Sassuolo. Two of those side are in the bottom half of the table, however.

    To find Udinese’s last win against Juventus, you would need to go back to the 2015-16 season. The Zebrette won in Turin 1-0. A feat that hasn’t been equalled since that August game.

    Juventus are on an eight-match unbeaten streak against Udinese currently. Seven of those eight fixtures ended in wins for the Bianconeri.

    The two rivals played in Serie A back in December with Juventus claiming a 3-1 win. Maurizio Sarri’s team was up 3-0 by halftime. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice while Leonardo Bonucci added the third.

    Sarri will be without defender Merih Demiral for the rest of the season. Demiral ruptured is ACL against Roma at the weekend and is now set for surgery. Demiral was in great form and had started in front of Matthjis de Ligt in each of the last six league matches.

    Sarri is light on centre-backs at the moment. The injury will most likely rule out the sales of Emre Can and Daniele Rugani. Both were on the chopping block but should now be used as back-ups to Bonucci and De Ligt.

    At the moment, Udinese defender Samir is the only player Gotti won’t have available. Expect the Udinese boss to pick a strong squad. However, Gotti’s best squad will not equal Sarri’s strongest available. That is why Juventus will squeeze past Udinese with a win.

    Expect the Bianconeri win to nil with under 2.5 goals scored.

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