Kick-Off: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 15:00 CET.
Stadio Olimpico, Turin.
From One Branch To The Other
Juventus‘s hopes of securing a top four place for themselves at the end of the season are rapidly fading as they lost 3-1 to Napoli in Naples in Serie A on Thursday evening. That dragged the Bianconeri out of the top six, that is, out of a European place altogether.
At the moment Alberto Zaccheroni’s side are seventh in the league standings with 45 points from 30 matches. They have yet to recover from their dramatic and humiliating exit from Europa League as they were knocked out by Premier League side Fulham. However, a home win against Atalanta is expected given that the visitors are third from bottom in the table.
Struggling But Retaining Hope
Atalanta might be third from bottom in Serie A with 28 points from 30 league fixtures, four points behind the side immediately above them, but they have shown marvelous signs of improvements in recent times.
Atalanta defeated Livorno 3-0 last weekend and then in midweek thrashed Cagliari 3-1 at home. Back-to-back wins for the Nerazzurri have lifted them in terms of points collected and they will travel to Turin on Sunday afternoon with confidence and energy.
March 25 v Napoli (A) – LOST 3-1 (Serie A)
March 21 v Sampdoria (A) – LOST 1-0 (Serie A)
March 18 v Fulham (A) – LOST 4-1 (Europa League)
March 14 v Siena (H) – DREW 3-3 (Serie A)
March 11 v Fulham (H) – WON 3-1 (Europa League)
March 24 v Cagliari (H) – WON 3-1 (Serie A)
March 21 v Livorno (H) – WON 3-0 (Serie A)March 14 v Parma (A) – LOST 1-0 (Serie A)
March 7 v Udinese (H) – DREW 0-0 (Serie A)
February 28 v Milan (A) – LOST 3-1 (Serie A)
Buffon, Caceres, Chimenti, Iaquinta, Salihamidzic and Poulsen are out while Camoranesi is suspended.
Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Manninger, Grygera, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, De Ceglie; Marchisio,Felipe Melo, Sissoko; Diego; Trezeguet, Del Piero
Barreto, Zanetti, Talamonti, Bellini and Chevanton are out while Doni is suspended.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Consigli, Garics. Bianco, Manfredini, Peluso; Ferreira Pinto, Padoin, Guarente, Valdes; Tiribocchi, Amoruso
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
The Italian international central defender scored against Napoli quite early on Thursday evening but couldn’t do much defensively. However, Chiellini does remain one of the few good performers for the Bianconeri this campaign and he will have to be strong at the back against an Atalanta side that scored thrice in midweek.
Jaime Valdes (Atalanta)
Valdes was the main player for Atalanta in midweek in their 3-1 demolition of Cagliari. He got Dessena sent off, successfully converted a penalty and then found the Cagliari net with a sublime shot from the edge of the penalty area. Valdes was sensational on Wednesday and the Juventus defenders will have to watch out for him.
Juventus wouldn’t find it easy against Atalanta but they should edge past them at home.