Juventus host Napoli in an early top-of-the-table clash in Serie A on Saturday, with Massimiliano Allegri fully aware of the threat posed by Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Just three points separate the two sides, with Juve maintaining a 100% perfect record after six games while Napoli slipped to a defeat at Sampdoria to fall behind.
Nevertheless, they can make up that ground in Turin on Saturday evening as they face Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. with Ancelotti now hoping to be the difference in turning the perennial contenders into genuine title winners after the Maurizio Sarri era.
In order to do that, the Italian tactician will know the importance of picking up positive results in big games away at their rivals, and they’ll come up against as close to a full-strength Juventus side as possible.
Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Mattia De Sciglio are ruled out due to injury, but aside from that, Allegri isn’t expected to gamble with his line-up and has been tipped to pick his strongest possible XI.
That will see Paulo Dybala get the nod up front alongside Ronaldo, with the Argentine forward scoring his first goal of the season last time out in the win over Bologna.
There have been early teething problems between the pair in terms of building a partnership, but Allegri will seemingly keep faith in them to produce the quality needed in a big game.
Elsewhere, it’s as expected with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini forming the heart of the defence, while Emre Can will replace his compatriot and hope to help win the midfield battle while Wojciech Szczesny takes his place between the posts.
Federico Bernardeschi may rightly feel aggrieved not to be starting given he has impressed so far this season, but he may well get his chance off the bench as Juve look to make it seven straight wins to start the season and to open up a bigger gap between themselves and their direct rivals.
Probable Juventus XI: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Mandzukic, Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo. (via La Gazzetta dello Sport.)