September 25th 2013, 18:45 GMT kick-off
Chievo, like their more-often-than-not rocky pitch, have presented bumps for Juventus in the past. The Champions dispatched of Chievo’s neighbors, Hellas Verona, at the Juventus Stadium and maintained their unbeaten run this season. New boys – Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente –were the heroes on the night as they fought back from a goal down to comfortably record their third win of the season.
As for the home side, they recorded they’re coming off their first win of the campaign. The Flying Donkeys came from behind to beat Udinese 2-1. Sergio Pellissier and Luca Rigoni got their names on the score-sheet for Chievo. That win meant they now sit in 14th position in the standings, a position they will hope to better as the season moves on.
Team News and Tactical Brief
It took a while but Chievo finally grabbed their first three points of the season against Udinese. The Flying Donkeys are a modest side that has always been a tricky hurdle at their home turf, the Bentegodi. With a few smart additions and the fact that they manage to retain the want-away Cyril Thereau, Chievo could be a bit more ambitious this time around and improve upon their 12th place finish from last season.
Manager Giuseppe Sannino should stick with his 4-4-2 formation. The win against Udinese should definitely act as a much needed boost in confidence as they prepare to host the Champions. Of the 8 goals they’ve conceded, 6 have come in the first half which indicates that they are slow starters. Maicousel, who scored Udinese’s goal during the weekend , netted within a minute from kick-off. A few changes are expected to be made by Sannino to his starting eleven with Sardo, Papp, Hetemaj and Thereau all supposedly given the nod.
Chievo should take a more organized approach to the game. As most teams have done this season, they will attempt to crowd out the midfield and defense and get bodies behind the ball. Sannino might task one of Thereau or Paloschi to shadow Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo hasn’t found his form yet and was impressively marked out of the game by Jorginho against Hellas. The Coach will also be aware of the vulnerability Juventus have shown from set-pieces. The previous two goals conceded did come from dead ball situations, which is quite startling given the caliber of the Bianconeri’s defenders. Captain Sergio Pellissier ,who has been the scourge of Juventus in the past, will likely start from the bench.
Dainelli and Kupisz should be unavailable.
Possible Starting XI (4-4-2): Puggioni; Sardo, Papp, Cesar, Drame; Hetemaj, Radovanovic, Rigoni, Estigarribia; Thereau, Paloschi
You got the feeling of déjà vu as Juventus struggled to finish off their chances against Hellas Verona. The visitors sat deep and were organized as the Bianconeri knocked on their door. It took a simple pass from Leonardo Bonucci to open up a defense that had dozed off, Tevez would make no mistake. Fernando Llorente finally got his chance to showcase his talent and justified his selection with a trademark header. The Spaniard roared alongside the Bianconeri fans as he scored, what turned out to be the winner.
Rotation is the need of the hour as games come by thick and fast. Reports from Italy suggest Buffon, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Marchisio, Peluso and Vucinic will all return to the starting eleven. With six new players poised to start, the aim is obviously to keep the players fresh as Juventus prepare to tackle all three competitions they feature in.
Much of Juve’s build up play revolves around Carlos Tevez. The Argentine has slotted in with ease, and has backed claims that he matches Conte’s philosophy with tireless performances. Against a team that will be content to sit back and allow the opposition to have the ball, his creativity comes into play. Peluso was one of Juve’s best players against Copenhagen, delivering countless dangerous balls into the box. A player who has garnered criticism for his less than impressive outings but one must keep in mind that he is a natural full-back and showed his quality in his favorable position against the Danish side.
Pepe and Martin Caceres are on the treatment table and will be unavailable.
Possible Starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Bonucci, Ogbonna, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Peluso; Tevez, Vucinic
Player To Watch Out For
Carlos Tevez (Juventus)
Tevez was on fire against Hellas Verona. Dropping deep to receive possession and wouldn’t turn down an invitation to blast one on goal. His persistence paid off when he found the back of the net and he has been paying back the faith Juventus have shown in him. Expect him to bring his ‘A’ game against Chievo on Wednesday.
Chievo Verona 1-2 Juventus
Fatigue will certainly act as a factor that will determine the outcome of this game. The players fitness levels will be tested to the death. Quality would suggest a Juventus win but having put away another Bianconeri during the weekend; Chievo will look to spark another surprise. However, the Champions should grind out a victory.