November 2nd 2013, 17:00 GMT kick-off
The games are coming thick and fast for Juventus with Parma at the Tardini next in line. The Bianconeri will be fully aware that any points dropped might cost them dear as runaway leaders Roma have shown no signs of applying the brakes. The club celebrated their 116th anniversary this week and a win over Parma and indeed Madrid would be the perfect gift to the fans.
Currently third in the charts, Juve are five points behind Roma. Their opponents on Saturday have recorded 3 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses to their name. Parma are not genuine contenders for a European spot and neither are they relegation candidates. The Ducali’s aim for this season will be to finish in the top half of the table and they now sit in 11th spot in Serie A.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Parma snatched a last gasp winner at home to Milan to only concede defeat to Genoa during midweek. While the Tardini based side are expected to finish in and around mid-table, they’ll view the loss against a struggling Genoa team as a disappointment. Roberto Donadoni’s side are definitely capable of producing an upset and with a few ex-Juventus players on board, motivation won’t particularly be an issue.
With a 3-5-2 formation that mirrors Antonio Conte’s, you can expect a cagey match. Strength of Parma’s play comes from the tireless forays made by Jonathan Biabiany. The Frenchman was pursued by Juventus during the mercato, if rumors are to be believed and this season he’s showing just why he was so highly coveted. A goal and an assist each don’t do justice to the impact he’s had with his pace and ability.
Lest we forget, Antonio Cassano is the creative fulcrum of the Ducali. Everything good in attack comes through the magical feet of FantAntonio. Cassano called the Juventus players ‘soldiers’ last season and certainly garnered controversy yet again. He’ll have a point to prove against the Bianconeri as will his strike partner, Amauri. The Italo-Brazilian suffered a lot during his stint at Juventus and was targeted by fans for his stale performances. He’s yet to break his duck this season and you can bet he’ll give it everything he can against his old side.
Galloppa, Pavarini, Paletta and Okaka are on the treatment table.
Possible Starting XI (3-5-2): Mirante; Cassani, Felipe, Lucarelli; Biabiany, Gargano, Marchionni, Parolo, Gobbi; Cassano, Amauri
With the tumultuous schedule that comes with European competition, Conte’s rotation policy has come into full effect. The manager will no doubt have an eye on the midweek Real Madrid game. It’s a game that could make or break their season and the importance of which cannot be stated enough. For now though, Parma stand in their way.
Two home wins over lowly Genoa and Catania have gone a long way in restoring confidence after the Fiorentina and Madrid debacles. More importantly, they were two victories in which Juventus completely dominated; a throwback to Conte’s first season in Turin and managed to keep clean-sheets, a rare occurrence with the Old Lady these days. Andrea Barzagli was rested then and should start against Parma while Bonucci is expected to make way for Angelo Ogbonna. Conte confirmed the return of Fabio Quagliarella but remained uncertain about Stephan Lichtsteiner and Mirko Vucinic.
Mauricio Isla will continue to deputize in Lichtsteiner’s expected absence. The much maligned Chilean put in two solid displays against Genoa and Catania and a good run of games may just be what he needs to impress the manager. Fernando Llorente could be a given a breather and start from the bench with Sebastian Giovinco partnering Carlos Tevez in attack.
Possible Starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Ogbonna, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio, Asamoah; Tevez, Giovinco
Player To Watch Out For
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
The Prince of Turin has been a bit shy this season. Marchisio’s season has been rocky given the injury he suffered in the early stages of the campaign. With the ever improving Paul Pogba right on his heels, Marchisio’s form will naturally come under scrutiny. He’ll have the chance against Parma to open his account and find some form before Madrid come visiting.
Parma 0–2 Juventus
The priority for Juventus will be to get the job done as quickly as possible although they will be weary of Parma’s strength at home. But the BIanconeri are a team that has found their feet after stuttering a bit and should overwhelm the Ducali. The form book points in Juve’s direction though it will be interesting to see the resistance that Parma put up.
Blast From the Past