Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo return to Serie A action for the first time since March with a trip to the Renato Dall'Ara Stadium on Tuesday to face Bologna in their first post COVID-19 lockdown fixture in the league.
Having lost out to Napoli on penalties in the Coppa Italia final, the 'Old Lady' Juventus will be turning their focus on defending their league crown.
Where they stand in the Serie A table
Maurizio Sarri’s side are currently top of the table, with 63 points from 26 games but enjoy just a single point advantage over second-placed Lazio, who have played as many matches.
With the I Biancocelesti breathing down their necks, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Co. can ill-afford to drop any points at this stage, and will be looking to set the pace and keep the title-challengers at bay.
Bologna, meanwhile, are 10th in the league standings - exactly the same spot they finished last season at - with 34 points from 26 outings.
Likely starting line-ups
Bologna predicted starting XI: Łukasz Skorupski, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Danilo Larangeira, Stefano Denswil, Mitchell Dijks, Gary Medel, Andrea Poli, Roberto Soriano, Musa Barrow, Riccardo Orsolini, Rodrigo Palacio
Juventus predicted starting XI: Wojciech Szczesny, Mattia De Sciglio, Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt, Juan Cuadrado, Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur, Blaise Matuidi, Douglas Costa, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala
Injuries and team news
Bologna, coached by Sinisa Mihajlovic, will be returning to competitive action for the first time since February and will be without winger Andreas Skov Olsen, who suffered a thigh injury during practice.
Also missing will be Paraguayan striker Federico Santander, 23-year-old Dutch midfielder Jerdy Schouten and Italian centre-back Mattia Bani, all of whom are suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
The Old Lady, meanwhile, will be setting up without Brazilian left-back Alex Sandro and former Real Madrid man Sami Khedira, who picked up fresh injuries during the team’s Coppa Italia ties. Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral, who were injured before the break, are also unlikely to participate.
However, both Aaron Ramsey and Gonzalo Higuain are reportedly fit enough to make the bench, with the former even being used as a second-half substitute during the Coppa Italia final.
Bologna vs Juventus head-to-head
The two North Italian clubs have squared off 145 times in the Serie A since 1929, with Juventus winning 74 times, Bologna 23 and the remaining 48 ending in draws.
In the reverse fixture this season back in October, Juventus were 2-1 winners with Pjanic and Cristiano Ronaldo getting on the score sheet. Danilo Larangeira grabbed the consolation for Bologna. .
Players to watch out for
Despite enduring a quiet season compared to his usual high standards, Cristiano Ronaldo, is Juventus’ highest scorer with 21 goals to his name and is only second to Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in this season’s Serie A top scorer’s list.
For Bologna, Italian winger Riccardo Orsolini has played a direct role in 11 (7 goals, 4 assists) of Bologna’s total of 38 goals in the Serie A. His involvement may turn out to be crucial if Bologna want to get anything out of this game.
Where to watch Bologna vs Juventus live
Kick-off time for the match is 1:15 am on Tuesday, June 23 in India.
It will have live broadcast on the Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD TV channels.
Indian football fans can also watch the live streaming of Bologna vs Juventus on the Sony Liv platform.