Juventus VS Empoli – LIVE Reddit Soccer 26/02/2022
Juventus sit 4th in the Serie A table heading into the latest round of fixtures but can’t afford to drop points against Empoli as they only have a 3pt lead over Atalanta and still sit 7pts behind Napoli and Inter Milan. Empoli beat Juve 1-0 in the pair’s reverse league fixture but can they secure the domestic double over the Italian giants? There is a good chance that we will see both teams score in this game just as they have done in four of Empoli’s and four of Juventus’s last six outings in all competitions. Empoli have only kept one clean sheet in their last six attempts, while Juve haven’t managed to keep a single clean sheet in any of their last four fixtures in league and cup.
Vlahovic is already off the mark for his new club in Serie A and the Champions League, and we’re backing the talented 22-year-old striker to score against Empoli this weekend. Vlahovic has scored 18-goals in Serie A this season for Fiorentina and Juventus and has scored 5-goals in his last ten appearances in all competitions. Empoli made the trip to Sampdoria last weekend but were undone by a veteran striker. Quagliarella, 39, scored two first-half goals that proved enough for the home side to secure all 3pts. Following that result, Empoli sit 13th in the Serie A table and are now without w win in their last six matches in all competitions, a disappointing run that is likely to extend this weekend unless Empoli can put together a much better performance.
Juventus were involved in midweek Champions League action away at La Liga side, Villarreal. Vlahovic showed why the Turin-based club paid so much money for him in the very 1st minute by putting the Italiaans in front. Villarreal equalised in the second half and the game ended 1-1, leaving Juventus with a slight advantage heading into the 2nd leg in Italy. Following three successive draws, Juventus travel to Empoli on Saturday in search of both three points to aid their top-four pursuit and a small slice of revenge.
Beaten by the Tuscan outfit back in August – kickstarting a remarkable Autumn period for the Serie B champions – the Bianconeri will now meet a nosediving home side at Stadio Carlo Castellani. Despite the January signings of Capocannoniere contender Dusan Vlahovic and Switzerland midfielder Denis Zakaria apparently heralding a new horizon for Juventus, the Old Lady has once again started to falter in Serie A.
After relying on the unlikely source of Danilo to rescue a barely-deserved point away to Atalanta, the Turin giants were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in the Derby della Mole last weekend – one of several failures to win by the division’s top sides. Having seen Matthijs de Ligt’s early effort cancelled out by Torino talisman Andrea Belotti’s second-half equaliser, coach Max Allegri was under pressure to produce a positive result in Europe as Juve travelled to Spain in midweek.
While Vlahovic set them on the road to victory at Villarreal – scoring the quickest Champions League debut goal in history – Juventus were later pegged back to 1-1 in the first leg of their last 16 tie. Allegri’s men were made to pay for their negativity at Estadio de la Ceramica, as they dropped deeper after seizing such an early lead, and then allowed Dani Parejo to drift past a number of defenders to fire home a crucial goal for the Yellow Submarine.
Nevertheless, Juve remain unbeaten in 90 minutes since November – only losing to Inter in the Supercoppa with virtually the last kick of extra time – and have not been beaten in Serie A for 12 matches. Currently fourth in the standings, nine points behind leaders Milan and just three above Atalanta – who have a game in hand – they visit Fiorentina for the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final next week. Without doubt, Allegri will demand that they travel to Florence with three points added to their tally, given the predicament of Saturday’s opposition.
One of several peaks in the first half of their comeback campaign, Empoli shocked a newly Ronaldo-less Juve by winning 1-0 in Turin last August, but in recent weeks have seen themselves tumbling down the standings due to a series of draws and defeats. Having now conceded 50 goals in Serie A – only rock-bottom Salernitana have fared worse in that regard – the Azzurri have not tasted victory since mid-December and are now mired in lower mid-table.
Sitting 13th heading into this weekend’s action, Empoli’s winless streak encompasses 10 league and cup games following a 2-0 defeat at struggling Sampdoria last Saturday, in which veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella put the hosts two up before half an hour had been played, and the visitors were unable to recover.
As Aurelio Andreazzoli’s side have shipped goals at a rate of 2.3 per game during their barren run, the visit of Juve’s expensively assembled attack will hardly be welcome this week – particularly as they have lost each of their last four encounters with the Bianconeri at Stadio Carlo Castellani. With just three wins from 13 attempts at their Tuscan headquarters so far this term – conceding 34 times in the process – Empoli will certainly be up against the odds when they kick off on Sunday evening.