Juventus began their Serie A title defence in equanimous fashion with a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to Parma and next travel to face Udinese (Sunday Sept 2, 17:00 GMT), who went down 2-1 away to Fiorentina last weekend.
Despite missing the experienced duo of Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini, Juventus secured a clean sheet by achieving a 63% share of possession, significantly limiting their opponent’s time on the ball. This echoed their title winning campaign, when the Bianconeri enjoyed the best possession percentage statistics of any team in Serie A.
In contrast, Udinese achieved just a 36% share of possession in their defeat to Fiorentina and were unable to establish themselves in the game. The club’s policy of selling off their best players for profit each year means they rarely function at their best in the early weeks of the season.
Defeat to Fiorentina was followed on Tuesday by a gut-retching Champions League playoff round defeat to Braga – the second year in a row that Udinese have been eliminated in the final qualifying round. The emotional and physical toll from the latter defeat is likely to be evident on Sunday, and with Buffon and Chiellini returning Juventus look favourites.