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Juventus v Lecce: Match preview, team news and probable lineups

Max Statman

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Facing a crucial match to secure their Serie A safety, Juventus are determined to put an end to their five-game winless streak when they host Lecce in Turin on Wednesday.

Juventus, currently in third place, suffered another setback in their recent draw against Bologna, while Lecce managed to secure a vital win in their previous match, giving them a four-point lead over the relegation zone.

Juventus entered the clash against Bologna with a desperate need for a positive result, having just been eliminated from the Coppa Italia semi-finals and enduring three consecutive Serie A defeats. However, they fell short once again.

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Despite not having lost to Bologna in 21 league matches prior to the encounter, Juventus found themselves behind at halftime after conceding a first-half penalty and witnessing Arkadiusz Milik miss his own spot-kick.

Milik redeemed himself in the second half by scoring following the impressive work of teenage substitute Samuel Iling. Ultimately, Juventus had to settle for a draw, and their last league victory was back in April against Hellas Verona.

With their Coppa Italia journey over and their hopes of silverware relying on the Europa League, Juventus’ main objective is now to secure a top-four position in Serie A. However, their recent struggles have allowed even seventh-placed Atalanta to close the gap to just five points with six games remaining.

Adding to the uncertainty is the possibility of the 15-point penalty, which was recently rescinded but could still be reimposed. Max Allegri, the embattled coach who has faced criticism for his frequent changes in tactics and personnel, must now prepare his squad to face Lecce, a team Juventus has only lost to four times in 33 meetings.

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Lecce, who suffered a defeat against Juventus earlier in the season, last defeated Wednesday’s hosts back in February 2011. Although a victory over Juventus would be a long-awaited achievement, Lecce eased the pressure by securing a narrow win against Udinese in their previous match, thanks to Gabriel Strefezza’s spot-kick.

The win marked Lecce’s first home victory since January and helped them distance themselves from the relegation zone. As last year’s Serie B champions, they are on the verge of securing a second consecutive top-flight campaign.

However, they face challenging matches against Lazio, as well as direct relegation rivals Spezia and Verona in their upcoming fixtures.

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While Juventus may be experiencing a turbulent period, taking anything away from Turin would be seen as a bonus for Lecce, especially considering their recent struggle to find the net, having scored only three goals in their last nine matches. Juventus has a formidable home record and is known for their defensive solidity.

In terms of team news, Max Allegri is expected to make changes to his lineup following another disappointing performance. Returning to a back three is a possibility, with Bremer and club captain Leonardo Bonucci potentially being promoted from the bench.

Samuel Iling’s impressive cameo against Bologna makes him a contender for a starting position. Allegri has also hinted at resting Adrien Rabiot and Alex Sandro. Juventus may face limitations in terms of Dusan Vlahovic’s involvement due to his ankle injury, while Moise Kean remains sidelined.

As a result, Arkadiusz Milik could continue leading the attack, and the choice for supporting striker between Federico Chiesa, Matias Soule, and the returning Angel Di Maria will need to be decided.

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Lecce, on the other hand, will likely have a relatively unchanged lineup following their victory over Udinese. However, their top scorer Gabriel Strefezza will be suspended, opening the door for Lameck Banda to replace him. The imposing defensive pairing of Samuel Umtiti

Juventus probable starting lineup: Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Danilo; Cuadrado, Fagioli, Locatelli, Miretti, Kostic; Di Maria; Milik.

Lecce probable starting lineup: Falcone; Gendrey, Baschirotto, Umtiti, Gallo; Blin, Hjulmand, Oudin; Banda, Ceesay, Di Francesco.

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Max Statman is a reliable and trusted reporter known for his insightful coverage of Juventus and Italian football. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for delivering accurate news, Max has established himself as a go-to source for fans seeking the latest reliable updates on their favorite club as well as stats.

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