21.08.2015 16:30 - in: Serie A S

    #JuveUdinese: A story of season-openers

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    The Bianconeri host Udinese for their first Serie A match of 2015/16 on Sunday. Juventus.com looks at the previous early-season encounters between the two sides

    Sunday’s match is the very first time that Juventus host Udinese for the opening fixture of a Serie A season.

    Udine was the venue on the two previous occasions that these sides met for a curtain-raiser in Italy’s top division and the Bianconeri took maximum points both times.

    On 25 September 1960 Umberto Colombo’s 65th minute strike proved the difference at the Stadio Polisportivo Moretti. The result would be a premonition for the two teams’ respective fortunes that season. While Colombo and his team-mates would go on to successfully defend their title with a 12th Scudetto, Udinese had to survive a relegation playoff to retain their Serie A status.

    Juventus would enjoy further success in north-east Italy on 14 September 1986 at the Stadio Friuli, but this time strikes from Sergio Brio and Lionello Manfredonia ensured the comfort of a two-goal advantage for Rino Marchesi’s men.

    Besides the aforementioned season-openers, Udinese have also been guests in Turin for Juventus’ first home match in three previous campaigns, all of which resulted in three points for the hosts.

    One has to rewind to 28 September 1958 for the first of these victories, an emphatic 3-0 scoreline featuring goals from the rightly revered forwards John Charles and captain Giampiero Boniperti, who netted a brace. The campaign culminated in the club claiming its third Coppa Italia. 

    It would be a closer affair 50 years later, on 14 September 2008, when a second-half strike from Amauri decided the match in the Bianconeri’s favour. In truth, Claudio Ranieri’s men had peppered the opposition goal with several efforts, keeping Samir Handanovic the busier of the two goalkeepers. The woodwork also came to the Slovenian's rescue, when Christian Poulsen’s drive ricocheted off the crossbar. 1-0 the final score at the Stadio Olimpico.

    The final act of this trio of home triumphs took place only last season, on 13 September 2014. Once again the hosts managed to keep a clean sheet, as goals from Carlos Tevez and Claudio Marchisio gave Massimiliano Allegri his maiden victory at Juventus Stadium at the first attempt since taking over the reins earlier that summer.

    The game also saw Alvaro Morata make his debut for the hosts at the start of what would be a breakthrough campaign for the Spaniard’s budding career.

    One year on, with several new faces amongst the Bianconeri's ranks, more debutants will have a chance to make their mark in front of the home support this Sunday evening.

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