JUVENTUS
v
GENOA CFC

Juventus Stadium
October 22, 2011; 20:45 GMT

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Juventus will look to improve their record against mid-table teams when they welcome Genoa in the Juventus Arena while the visitors will be hoping to bounce back from a slump after a strong start of the season.

Team News and Tactical Brief

Juventus

The match against Chievo was a sharp anti-climax after the dazzling win against Milan. Juventus started the match strongly, pressing Chievo up the pitch but gradually fizzled out as the match progressed. The team from Verona, never an easy opponent at home, defended robustly and managed to shut down Andrea Pirlo with double marking. For long periods of the match, Juventus looked listless and failed to create enough clear-cut chances.

Antonio Conte, who has got his tactics right in most matches so far, also missed the trick against Chievo. The 4-1-4-1 formation which worked wonders against Milan failed to break down a Chievo side content with soaking up the pressure. Mirko Vucinic had an indifferent game, which rendered Juvea��s attack even more toothless. Juve desperately needed some unpredictability and Alessandro Del Piero was brought on, albeit too late, to provide it. After Alexa��s arrival Juventus looked livelier and came closest to scoring when the captain hit the bar from a header. In the end, Juventus stayed true to the general trend of scorelines of the matchday, playing out a somewhat drab 0-0 draw.

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The Juventus Icon

 

Juventus is likely to switch back to the two striker 4-2-4/4-4-2 formation against Genoa. The Old Ladya��s performance against mid-table, lower-table teams has been shaky, a recurrent problem from last 2 seasons. Antonio Contea��s team need to pick up more points from such games should they want to finish in top-3. The defence once again dished out a flawless performance against Chievo and it is unlikely Conte will make changes to the back-four. Lichtsteiner will once again pair up with Chiellini in the left flank. Barzagli and Bonucci pairing have kept clean sheets in last 2 matches and Conte would need them to carry on their performance.

Andrea Pirlo looked fatigued against Chievo and their double marking did him no favours as the World Cup winner was largely ineffective. Pirlo will have adequate rest for this match and Juventus needs him to return to his best form. Milos Krasic had a forgettable outing in the last game but he has to be lauded for playing despite suffering from personal tragedy. There is a question mark over Arturo Vidal’s fitness.

Mirko Vucinic should start as one of the strikers with Del Piero or Alessandro Matri partnering him. Fabio Quagilarella is yet to get a start under Conte and rumour mills will start their work should a fit Quagliarella sit out of another game.

Latest Update: Gianluigi Buffon is suffering from a shoulder injury and he will be out for next 10 days. Marco Storari will be replacing him.

Possible starting XI (4-2-4): Buffon(GK); Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Krasic, Pirlo, Marchisio, Pepe; Del Piero, Vucinic

Genoa

Italya��s oldest club enjoyed a great start to the season and briefly topped the table. However, they have lost their form since then and have lost 2 of their last 3 matches. They have lost to Chievo and Parma on the road while failing to defeat Lecce in last game. The Grifoni face a tough set of fixtures in next few rounds with Roma, Fiorentina and Inter following the match in Turin.

Genoa has suffered from defensive frailties in last 2 seasons. Last season Portuguese a�?keeper Eduaro had a nightmarish season and was responsible for a number of soft goals. Genoa brought in veteran Sebastien Frey to fix their a�?keeper related issues. The ex-Fiorentina a�?keeper has let in 8 goals in 6 matches while making 22 saves.

Ex-Milan defender Kakha Kaladze will miss this encounter because of suspension. Veteran Emiliano Moretti will pair up with Dario Danielli in central defence. The three-man midfield will contain a distinctive Eastern European flavour with Slovenian Valter Birsa joining forces with Slovakian Juraj Kucka. Former Sporting Lisbon midfielder Miguel Veloso will perform the role of a defensive blocker in centre of the park.

Alexander Merkel has often been noted as one of the brightest prospects from the Milan academy in recent times. The German youngster has joined Genoa on a co-ownership deal and will play in the a�?holea�? behind two strikers.

Argentine Rodrigo Palacio is one of the most in-form players in Serie A right now. He has notched up five goals in six matches and has also assisted three times. He will be the main attacking threat for the Rossoblu.

Possible Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Frey(GK); Rossi, Danielli, Moretti, Antonelli; Kucka, Veloso, Birsa; Palacio, Merkel, Caracciolo

Key Facts

  1. Genoa is yet to win an away game this season while Juventus has not lost a match at home so far.
  2. Juventus has enjoyed 60% possession or more in every game this season.
  3. Genoa and Juventus have shared 16 goals in last 4 meetings between the two teams in Serie A.

TheHardTacklea��s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR

Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)

Few days back Andrea Agnelli made a mistimed announcement of this being Del Pieroa��s last season in Juventus. While it is known that Del Pieroa��s career is about to come to an end, the announcement should have been left to the Juventus legend for an appropriate time. Del Piero was the most impressive player for Juve against Chievo and it will not come as a surprise if another top-notch performance is dished out by the number 10 against Genoa.

TheHardTacklea��s PREDICTION

Juventus 2-0 Genoa

TheHardTacklea��s BLAST FROM THE PAST

 

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