Chievo – Juventus Preview

Posted on 15/01/2010

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Chievo – Juventus
Stadio Bentegodi
Serie A Week 20 – 17/1/10


Juventus are back in business with Ciro Ferrara’s job safe for the moment, but all that could change at the Bentegodi.

The Coach faced the strong possibility of dismissal this week after a series of poor results that culminated in a 3-0 home defeat to Milan. That effectively ruled them out of the Scudetto race and saw Napoli catch them in joint third position.

Guus Hiddink was warming up to take over, but a 3-0 Coppa Italia triumph over Napoli on Wednesday night proved just the tonic Juve needed. Alessandro Del Piero bagged a brace in a rare start and Diego also hit the net to crown a strong performance.

The same forwards should be reunited for this game, simply because they are the only available alternatives. In fact, it’s likely that they’ll be pushed into a 4-4-2 formation, as Amauri is suspended, joining the injured David Trezeguet, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Sebastian Giovinco, Christian Poulsen, Mauro Camoranesi and Martin Caceres.

Momo Sissoko is away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, leaving very few options for Ferrara. At least Gianluigi Buffon should make his first appearance of 2010 after recovering from knee surgery.

Chievo had a less impressive Coppa Italia test, as on Thursday they were leading 2-1 away to Fiorentina before conceding twice in two minutes to go out 3-2. That proved their fourth consecutive defeat in all competition.

Coach Mimmo Di Carlo made sweeping changes to his line-up, so the men taking to the field this weekend should be fairly fresh. Sergio Pellissier returns in a huge boost, as the top scorer missed the last game after taking a nasty knock to the head from Inter defender Cristian Chivu. He had head trauma, but came off better than Chivu, who required surgery for a fractured skull.

Elvis Abbruscato should partner Pellissier with support from Giampiero Pinzi, although Pablo Granoche and Erjon Bogdani bring different characteristics to the role. Fabio Moro and Francesco Scardina are out of action, but other than that Di Carlo has a full squad to choose from. It’s a particularly special fixture for former Torino youth product Pellissier and product of the Juventus academy Felice Piccolo.

Juve have a splendid record at the Bentegodi, winning six of their total seven visits and drawing one in 2005-06. Last season Del Piero scored in a 2-0 victory that marked his 34th birthday.

Keep an eye on: Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus) – He is yet to play an entire match this season and has been cruelly ignored by former teammate Ferrara, but the captain showed just what he can bring to the Bianconeri cause with his Coppa Italia double midweek. Considering the injury crisis, Juventus will more than ever be looking to Del Piero for inspiration.

Last five in Serie A: Chievo (W W L L L) Juventus (W L L W L)

Last season: Chievo 0-2 Juventus


Chievo (probable): Sorrentino; Frey, Mandelli, Yepes, Mantovani; Luciano, Rigoni, Marcolini; Pinzi; Abbruscato, Pellissier

Juventus (probable): Buffon; Grygera, Cannavaro, Chiellini, Grosso; Salihamidzic, Felipe Melo, Marchisio, De Ceglie; Diego, Del Piero

Ref: To follow…

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Posted in: Preview, Serie A