Juventus Stadium, Turin
September 22nd 2013, 13:00 GMT kick-off
Juventus are one of the five sides left in Serie A that are yet to taste defeat. Two wins on the trot were followed by two stalemates. Inter and Copenhagen may reflect similar outcomes both the performances were a contrast. At the San Siro, Inter and Juventus canceled each other out in a game where a win for any side would have been harsh on the other. These were two teams that fought endlessly and produced a fair result. Against Copenhagen, it was one way traffic, for the most part. Juventus have their wayward finishing to blame as they have just one goal to show for their 27 shots.
For Hellas Verona, it’s been a commendable start to their Serie A campaign. A glance at the league standings and you would find them just one point off their illustrious opponents. It’s early days, of course, and it’s a marathon not a sprint yet you can’t help but get the feeling that they could be the surprise package of this season.
Team News and Tactical Brief
‘Frustration’ is the word that comes to mind when you look back at Juve’s game against Copenhagen. It was a game that they could have and should have won but for the heroics and heroics probably falls short of the standard of performance put in by Copenhagen’s keeper, Johan Wiland. But this frustration can act as a stimulant and Hellas Verona could be on the receiving end.
Conte’s formation remains the same 3-5-2 that is his favorite. The manager spoke about the importance of rotation and keeping the team fresh as they fight on three fronts. With depth that can justify rotation, Juventus could name a starting eleven that may see a few regulars rested. Storari will start in goal, Conte confirmed while Vucinic and Barzagli should return after they played no part in the Champions League.
But the best news from Conte’s press conference was the return of Claudio Marchisio. The tireless midfielder has been out for a few weeks and has always been one of Juventus’ most valuable assets. With Verona expected to shut shop, Juventus could find themselves in a situation similar to that against Copenhagen. This time, of course, they’ll want to be a bit more clinical and make their chances count.
Pepe, Rubinho and Caceres will sit this one out for Juventus.
Possible Starting XI (3-5-2): Storari; Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Vucinic
Six points from a possible nine, Verona manager, Andrea Mandorlini will be pleased with his side’s beginning to life in Serie A. They might be new comers but their work in the transfer market ensured that they recruited players with Serie A experience. That, along with a few of their own talents is considered enough for the Gialloblu to retain their top flight status. As things stand, no one could argue against that line of thinking.
After stunningly claiming the scalp of Milan on opening night, Verona succumbed to a 3-0 loss to a rampant Roma side. Following which, they made light work of fellow promoted team, Sassuolo. But, they now face their sternest test at the Juventus Stadium. They’ll have to do so without their captain, Domenico Maietta, who was forced to go off injured against Sassuolo. Raphael Martinho hasn’t made the trip to Turin as well. The good news, though, is the inclusion of ex-Juve man, Luca Toni, in the Verona squad. It’s still unclear whether the burly striker will start the game but he might just play a part.
Mandorlini will stick with his 4-3-3 system. A system based up on defensive organization and that should be the approach the boss will employ. Tight in midfield with advanced wingers dropping back to halt Juve’s blitzing wing-backs. Much of their play circles around the much heralded Italy u21 International, Jorginho. Already under the watch of top clubs throughout the peninsula, Jorginho will win over plenty of admirers if he manages to outclass a certain Andrea Pirlo.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Rafael; Cacciatore, Moras, Bianchetti, Agostini; Romulo, Jorginho, Hallfredsson; Jankovic, Cacia, Gomez
Player To Watch Out For
Paul Pogba (Juventus)
Touted as a future superstar, they way it’s panning out right now, Pogba is already playing like one. A player with the potential and the ambition to be the best, Pogba’s lethal range coupled with pure physical power make him a fierce opponent to deal with. Against Verona, who are certain to be satisfied with getting players behind the ball, it might just take another Pogba special to secure the three points for Juventus.
Juventus 2-0 Hellas Verona
Verona could be on the end of a Juventus backlash as the Champions look to shrug off their midweek disappointment. The travelers will feel the absence of a few important players; add in the quality of the opposition and this result points towards a Juventus victory.
Blast From the Past