Match Time：1/11/2021 03:45 Monday (GMT+8)
After a crucial victory at San Siro in midweek, Juventus welcome close challengers Sassuolo to Turin on Monday, determined to keep pressure on the league-leading Milan clubs. Roberto De Zerbi's overachieving visitors have started the new year in a mixed manner following a heavy opening loss with Wednesday's win over Genoa.
After approaching a calendar year undefeated in Serie A, league leaders AC Milan's remarkable run was mercilessly shattered by old foes Juventus on Wednesday.The defending champions edged an intense encounter - which was erratically refereed throughout - essentially due to their impressive squad depth.Bianconeri coach Andrea Pirlo could introduce match-winning combination Weston McKennie and Dejan Kulusevski from the bench - plus big-money buys Arthur and Federico Bernardeschi - while Milan called upon callow primavera graduates Daniel Maldini and Lorenzo Colombo.Federico Chiesa starred, as the young forward followed in his father's illustrious footsteps to net a brace versus one of dad Enrico's favourite opponents.With four goals and four assists so far, Chiesa junior is starting to come into his own, several months after an initial two-year loan from Fiorentina started in the summer.Now that fourth-placed Juve have finally downed one of their key rivals this term - following a series of dropped points through drawn fixtures - Pirlo will aim to distance his side from Sassuolo, who sit just one place and one point behind them in the Serie A standings.Juventus have only lost one of their 14 top flight meetings with the Emilian outfit, scoring at an average of over two goals per game in that time. Not only that, but the Bianconeri have only ever dropped two points in seven home league meetings against the Neroverdi.However, the gap is clearly closing between two clubs from different financial stratospheres, as last season's entertaining encounters ended 3-3 in July and 2-2 back in December 2019.Though Sassuolo so far have a similar Serie A record to their weekend hosts, the major difference between them and the Turin giants has been how many goals they concede.Suffering a 5-1 thrashing by Atalanta was a rude awakening to begin 2021 for De Zerbi's side, but they quickly recovered to see off struggling Genoa thanks to winger Jeremie Boga's belated return to form.The former Chelsea academy graduate scored one and created another to down the spirited Grifone on Wednesday, helping his club keep one step ahead of fellow European-spot chasers Napoli, Atalanta, Lazio and Verona in a tightening top ten of the table.Sassuolo have now collected 29 points and scored 29 goals after 16 Serie A games - the best record at this stage in their relatively brief top-flight history.Their best tally in the first half of a season (after 19 games) was 31 points in 2015-16, so the ever-improving Neroverdi will seek to surpass that haul in the coming weeks.Doing so against Juventus at the Allianz Stadium presents a significant challenge for De Zerbi's charges on Sunday night - but one which they will approach with customary zeal.
Juventus Serie A form: WDWLWW
Sassuolo Serie A form: WDLWLW
Juventus coach Pirlo again has full-backs Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro (both COVID-19) unavailable after the pair tested positive just before the Milan game - with Matthijs de Ligt also going into quarantine on Friday. Therefore, having impressed at San Siro, Danilo should start on the right and Gianluca Frabotta on the left; Giorgio Chiellini or Merih Demiral will cover for de Ligt.Alvaro Morata is still struggling with a muscle strain, so Paulo Dybala - who has started to show flashes of his old form - should continue alongside Cristiano Ronaldo up front in what is essentially a flexible 4-4-2.McKennie, who has impressed as a box-to-box operator this term will compete for a start with the less impressive Adrien Rabiot and Arthur next to consistent performer Rodrigo Bentancur in midfield.Sassuolo lost star man Domenico Berardi in the first half of their midweek win and his fitness will be assessed again before kickoff, with Hamed Traore or Giacomo Raspadori ready to stand in.Alongside Manuel Locatelli in De Zerbi's midfield pair, either Pedro Obiang or Maxime Lopez should replace veteran Francesco Magnanelli, who enjoyed a rare start against Genoa.
Juventus possible starting lineup: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Bonucci, Frabotta; Chiesa, Rabiot, Bentancur, Kulusevski; Dybala, Ronaldo
Sassuolo possible starting lineup: Consigli; Toljan, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Locatelli, Lopez; Traore, Djuricic, Boga; Caputo
Juventus VS Sassuolo
Juventus 2-1 Sassuolo