Hmm, Perugia-Juventus, we're back in business...
Unless we've suscribed to the OCWMA*, it would be vain flying in the face of facts. A 26th scudetto is not for this year. We're still bitter (aren't we accustomed to the feeling, guys?
), but hey, life goes on, the storm has abated, I'm now Zen, but -make no mistake- still fully aware you won't take such a high level failure any longer and so won't I.
I'm sure the staff and the management is already called to the blackboard on the problem and maybe the'll produce something great.
We've all identified the shortcomings, I now pray that the dirty Italian habit of sacking coachs can spare us for once (yes, I was against Carletto's firing) and that Lippi is granted some more means and time to work on 'em.
But that's another issue, right! For now, the direct objective is to secure a CL spot for next year. 5 games to go, damn time is running so fast. Well, 7 points and we're in the qualifications stages, regardless of what the 5th placed team, Milan does. If so they just cannot reach us.
BUT we don't want that to happen off course. We want an automatic qualification (that would spare us additional matches in the summer and bad unexpected surprises) for the first group stages which only finishing 1st ( riiight
) or 2nd would allow. I'm very skeptical at our ability to end up in such an advantaging position. From my perspective, achieving better than a 3rd place is beyond reach (well, I'd be glad to be proved wrong, I really would) and unlike soem of you said, losing wouldn't be such an tragedy and we certainly wouldn't be in a deep sh!t if we don't win this one, Perugia are a good collective team with some noticeable individualities, they can give a hard time to anyone, including Juve (they screwed us 2 years ago, remember?)...
As long as we manage to gain 7 points out of our 5 remaining games. And, since honour is not something people seem willing to defend above all nowadays, we could even afford to finish 4th, behind Bologna (though I doubt they can still fill the gap of 8 points) as being 3rd or 4th is the same to UEFA, both give access to the qualifications stages of the CL. Well, we'll have a clearer picture of what to expect for this summer after the Perugia match.
On the match itself now...
The referee will be signor Gabrielle, who has already been in charge of 3 Juve matches this season: Samp-Juve 1-2, Juve-Perugia 2-0 (funny!) and Venezia-Juve 1-2. Hmm, 3 games and 3 wins, isn't that encouraging if you're supersticious ?
We won at Curi (Perugia stadium) the last 3 times out of 4 when we met them, the only defeat was that awful rainy day of March 2000, a day cursed by all Juventini. Overall, Juve prevailed 8 times out of 9 against Cosmi's (now that's a good coach) side.
Our last away win was against Chievo on January 27.
Oh and beware of O'Neill. I'm sure he'll do his best to make us regret him.
The news of Thuram back is warming my heart, too bad we won't get to see El Matador kicking the ball as soon as this weekend but I tend to think it might be better to not risk him this season so that he has extended time to prepare his (I hope so) astonishing comeback and enter our bianconero hall of fame.
It's only Friday and probably too early to figure out what team Lippi will opt for, but like CUG said, and despite all the injuries that just don't want to give us a break, we have enough quality players at disposal to outclass gli griffoni.
Here is the team I would give the go if I was Lippi:
The usual [4-3-1-2]
--------------------- Buffon -----------------------
Thuram --- Ferrara --- Montero --- Pessotto
Zambrotta ------- Davids ------------ Maresca
-------------------- Nedved -----------------------
----- Trézéguet ------------ Del Piero ----------
FORZA LA JUVENTUS!
, honorary president: Nyuka (