Alberto Zaccheroni will be looking to stretch his unbeaten record with Juventus…..
Stadio Olimpico, Turin.
Leaving The Past Behind
Alberto Zaccheroni started his reign as Juventus coach with two successive draws in Serie A but Juve have since picked up pace. A victory over Genoa in the league on Valentine’s Day was followed by an away win against Ajax in the Europa League. Last weekend the Bianconeri got the better of Bologna and on Thursday drew 0-0 with Ajax at home to progress to the last 16 stage of the Europa League.
At the moment Juve are fourth in Serie A with 41 points from 25 matches and appear to have rejuvenated themselves. Ciro Ferrara parted company with the Old Lady under a cloud and indeed Zaccheroni, who replaced him, wasn’t thought to be the best replacement.
However, things seem to have turned for the better for the former Italian and European champions and former Milan coach Zaccheroni will be hoping that Juve defeat Palermo in Turin on Sunday night to consolidate their place in the top four.
Palermo had been spiraling down steadily into the abyss until the advent of Delio Rossi. Although the Sicilians were defeated 4-1 by Roma in Rome two weeks back, they destroyed Lazio 3-1 at home last weekend to rise upto sixth in Serie A.
Palermo currently have 40 points from 25 matches and are level on points with Napoli, who are fifth. Moreover, the Aquile are just a solitary point behind Juventus and know that depending on results elsewhere, they could go fourth with a win in Turin.
However, winning against Juventus is going to be far from easy, especially as Palermo have a poor away record in the league. They have won only two of their 12 away fixtures and have lost seven on the roads.
February 25 v Ajax (H) – DREW 0-0 ( Europa League)
February 21 v Bologna (A) – WON 2-1 ( Serie A)
February 18 v Ajax (A) – WON 2-1 (Europa League)
February 14 v Genoa (H) – WON 3-2 (Serie A)
February 6 v Livorno (A) – DREW 1-1 (Serie A)
February 21 v Lazio (H) – WON 3-1 (Serie A)
February 13 v Roma (A) – LOST 4-1 (Serie A)
February 6 v Parma (H) – WON 2-1 (Serie A)
January 30 v Bari (A) – LOST 4-2 (Serie A)
January 24 v Fiorentina (H) WON 3-0 (Serie A)
Iaquinta, Poulsen, Giovinco, Buffon and Grosso are unavailable while Legrottaglie, Camoranesi and Diego are reportedly struggling with injuries. Marchisio is suspended.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Manninger, Cannavaro, Legrottaglie, Chiellini; Salihamidzic, Felipe Melo, Sissoko, De Ceglie; Diego; Trezeguet, Del Piero
Mchedlidze is out while Blasi, Bresciano, Nocerino, Balzaretti and Cassani are struggling for fitness. Carrozzieri is suspended.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Sirigu, Cassani, Kjaer, Bovo, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Liverani, Nocerino; Pastore; Miccoli, Cavani
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The Brazilian trequartista had gone off boil during Juventus‘s miserable run of results under former coach Ciro Ferrara but he has now seemingly recovered his form and rhythm. Diego looked impressive against Ajax on Thursday and although he is yet to return to his best, there are signs that suggest that the formerWerder Bremen star would be Juve’s key attacking player from now on.
Fabrizio Miccoli (Palermo)
The Italian striker scored against Lazio last weekend and has mustered eight goals and five assists in 23 league matches so far. Miccoli can blow hot and cold but he cannot be kept unattended, and the Juventus defenders will have to take special care of him.
Both sides are in good form at the moment but Juventus have regained confidence and composure. Although they still struggle at times and their backline still cannot hold its line together, playing at home would give the Bianconeri an advantage that Palermo would find difficult to cope with.
Juventus 2-1 Palermo