Serie A Week 24 – 14/2/10 (14.00 UK)
Juventus – Genoa
Juventus are looking to end their terrible crisis as they host Genoa at the Olimpico in a what may be a heated Week 24 clash.
The Bianconeri have been unable to return to victory in recent weeks even though the appointment of Alberto Zaccheroni had a positive impact on the team. Last weekend’s draw at Livorno was yet another disappointing result, but they remain just three points away from the Champions League zone.
“We cannot be happy about our draw against Livorno,” said Alessandro Del Piero. “However, we have to look at the bright side and think that qualification to the Champions League is still close. That is our target and we want to reach it as soon as possible, we cannot afford any further slip-ups.”
Genoa have had a good run recently and collected three important points against Chievo last weekend. The Rossoblu are also dreaming of the Champions League, but more realistically they would settle for a Europa League placement.
“We are recovering positions and I am really happy with 35 points,” noted Gian Piero Gasperini. “Against Chievo it was a balanced game, hard fought and very difficult. Winning it meant a lot and boosted our morale.”
Zaccheroni should stick to the 3-4-1-2 strategy used against Livorno. However, he will make a few changes to the starting formation. Fabio Cannavaro and Fabio Grosso will sit on the bench due to their poor shape. Zdenek Grygera and Paolo De Ceglie will play. Felipe Melo is suspended but Momo Sissoko is back in the middle of the park.
Gasperini has lost Rodrigo Palacio to injury. Raffaele Palladino and Giuseppe Sculli will play even though they picked up minor knocks recently. Robert Acquafresca has flu but will start since David Suazo is struggling. Emiliano Moretti is suspended.
Keep an eye on: Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus) – The Bianconeri captain wants to lead his men to victory. The Old Lady cannot afford to add yet another defeat to their already dreadful run and Alex is hoping to rescue Juve from their crisis.
Last five in Serie A: Juventus (L L L D D) Genoa (L D W D W)
Last season: Juventus 4-1 Genoa
Juventus (probable): Buffon; Grygera, Legrottaglie, Chiellini; Caceres, Candreva, Sissoko, De Ceglie; Diego; Amauri, Del Piero
Genoa (probable): Amelia; Papasthatopoulos, Dainelli, Bocchetti; Rossi, Milanetto, Juric, Criscito; Palladino, Acquafresca, Sculli
Ref: To follow…