Persistence Of Hope
Not many had given Livorno any chance of garnering anything from their game against Milan last weekend but the Labronici came from Milan with a respectable 1-1 draw and a point. That result keeps them two points and two places above the relegation zone and maintains their hopes of survival in Serie A.
However, Livorno would be wary of not letting that good result in Milan dance into their head as they would have to take on Juventus at home on Saturday evening. They have won four times in front of their own crowd in the league already and they would be looking to defeat a Juventus side that have recently sacked the coach they appointed at the tail-end of last season.
Searching For A Win
Juventus have won just one of their last five matches in all competitions and that victory was against a depleted Napoli side in the Coppa Italia which they were knocked out of by Inter in the following round. Poor run of results have rendered the Bianconeri in fifth place in the Serie A table with 34 points from 22 league matches, four points off fourth spot.
Juve appointed Alberto Zaccheroni as their new coach last week and the former Milan tactician halted the former Italian champions’ run of three successive defeats with a 1-1 draw with Lazio at home. This weekend Juve are away to Livorno and the 56-year-old would be hoping to garner a victory as the hosts are just two points and two places above the relegation zone.
January 31 v Milan (A) – DREW 1-1 (Serie A)
January 24 v Napoli (H) – LOST 2-0 (Serie A)
January 16 v Cagliari (A) – LOST 3-0 (Serie A)
January 10 v Parma (H) – WON 2-1 (Serie A)
January 6 v Lazio (A) – LOST 4-1 (Serie A)
January 31 v Lazio (H) – DREW 1-1 (Serie A)
January 28 v Inter (A) – LOST 2-1 (Coppa Italia)
January 23 v Roma (H) – LOST 2-1 (Serie A)
January 17 v Chievo (A) – LOST 1-0 (Serie A)
January 13 v Napoli (H) – WON 3-0 (Coppa Italia)
Miglionico has been ruled out of the fixture while Pulzetti, Lucarelli and Filippini are struggling with injuries. Rivas is suspended.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Rubinho, Perticone, Knezevic, Esposito; Raimondi, Moro, Mozart, Filippini, Pieri; Bellucci, Lucarelli
Iaquinta, Camoranesi, Trezeguet, Poulsen, Marchisio and Salihamidzic are out of the trip to Livorno while Legrottaglie, Diego and Marchisio are struggling with injuries. Both Grygera and Sissoko are suspended.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Buffon, Cannavaro, Legrottaglie, Chiellini; Caceres, Felipe Melo, Candreva, De Ceglie; Diego; Del Piero, Amauri
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cristiano Lucarelli (Livorno)
Lucarelli scored against Milan last weekend and salvaged a point for Livorno. That was only the striker’s fourth goal in the league this season but he would be much buoyed by that and would be keen to strike against Juventus too.
Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)
The Italian striker has been out for most of the season but has scored two league goals. Del Piero netted against Lazio last weekend and he would be looking forward to scoring in Livorno and leading his team to victory.
Livorno would be encouraged by their performance against Milan last week but Juventus should manage to win on Saturday night. However, the visitors have to be careful on the break and take care of locking out the Livorno strikers all the time.
Livorno 0-1 Juventus