Serie A Preview: Piacenza-Juventus
Piacenza - Juventus | News Archive
Two healthy teams will face each other on Sunday afternoon at the Galleana stadium in what should be a very attractive match. Piacenza shoot for the third win in a row, a result that would mean the certainty to stay in the Serie A, while Juventus need nothing but the three points in order to keep on hoping in the scudetto.
Novellino's men have played a really good second part of the season, and last Sunday they confirmed this trend with an impressive and deserved triumph on the field of fourth placed Bologna. Piacenza were very effective in their previous outings as well, but some of those were really unlucky, such as the home defeat against Milan.
On their part, Juventus still trail league leaders Inter by three points with as many rounds to go, and most likely the only way they have to grab the Nerazzurri is winning all of the remaining matches, hoping also that Cuper's men will stumble.
In order to do that, however, the Bianconeri will have to be more convincing than they were in their last outing. Last Sunday Lippi's men didn't play a good match against Milan, and only a late own-goal by Chamot allowed them to collect the three points.
-Piacenza: the hosts will miss three influential regulars, all of whom have been suspended for one round: defender Lamacchi, playmaker Volpi and winger Sommese. Coach Novellino is expected to replace them with Lucarelli, Statuto and Poggi respectively. Forward Gautieri, who paired up Serie A topscorer Hubner in the last weeks, will be moved on the right wing.
Starting line-up (4-4-2): Guardalben; Sacchetti, Lucarelli, Cardone, Tosto; Gautieri, Statuto, Matuzalem, Di Francesco; Poggi, Hubner
Bench: Orlandoni, Cristante, Mora, Miceli, Patrascu, Amauri, Caccia
Suspended: Lamacchi, Sommese, Volpi
Cautioned (one more yellow card to be suspended): Poggi, Cristante, Caccia
-Juventus: plenty of worries for the guests. In addition to long-term sidelined injured Salas, Tudor, Maresca and Montero, Juve will surely miss Pessotto, who picked up a bad injury in Italy's midweek friendly against Uruguay. Coach Lippi hopes at least to recover Iuliano and Trezeguet, both of whom suffer muscular problems.
Probable line-up (4-4-2): Buffon; Thuram, Ferrara, Iuliano, Paramatti; Zambrotta, Conte, Davids; Nedved; Del Piero, Trezeguet
Bench: Carini, Birindelli, Tacchinardi, Zenoni, Frara, Zalayeta, Amoruso
Injured: Salas, Tudor, Montero, Pessotto, Maresca
Cautioned (one more yellow card to be suspended): Trezeguet, Nedved, Conte, Pessotto
FORM GUIDE & NUMBERS
Piacenza last 6 matches: WDLDWW. Piacenza keep on showing to be very healthy and solid. Novellino's men have lost only once in the last seven contests, at the end of a very unlucky home outing against Milan.
Overall: 10 W – 9 D – 12 L - Average points per match 1.26– Goals scored/conceded 45-39
Home: 7 W – 1 D – 7 L – Average points per match 1.47 – Goals scored/conceded 27-17
After Juventus, the Biancorossi will face another scudetto contender, league leaders Inter. The last match should be a much less difficult one, as most likely the Scaligeri will be already safe.
Juventus last 6 matches: WWLDWW. Two wins in the last two matches, coupled with Inter and Roma's false steps against Atalanta and Venezia respectively, allow Lippi's men to keep on hoping in a difficult recovery on the Nerazzurri.
Overall: 17 W – 11 D – 3 L - Average points per match 2.00 - Goals scored/conceded 56-23
Away: 5 W – 8 D – 2 L – Average points per match 1.53 - Goals scored/conceded 23-12
In the last two rounds, the Bianconeri will face the two teams who are fighting to avoid accompanying Lecce, Fiorentina and Venezia into the Serie B.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
-Piacenza: Eusebio Di Francesco. The former Roma left winger has been showing an awesome form lately, and could give Juventus plenty of problems, just like Nedved is supposed to do on the other side of the field.
-Juventus: Alessandro Del Piero. Alex played a couple of very good matches against Perugia and Milan, showing to be close to his best shape. Both Juve and the Nazionale need it…
On paper, Juventus are the stronger team and perhaps they need these three points even more than Piacenza, who could be satisfied with a draw. However, it would be simply unfair to go against Novellino's men, who are really healthy and have been playing great soccer lately, while Juve didn't look good against Milan. The hosts deserve some confidence, at least for a draw.
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