Juventus - Roma Preview: Hosts aim to stay top of Serie A as club legends Del Piero and Totti meet again
It may be the last time that the two World Cup winners meet as the Turin giants look to stay one step ahead of AC Milan and the visitors hope for Champions League qualification
By Adam Scime
Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio
Pepe, Quagliarella, Vucinic
Rosi, Kjaer, De Rossi, Angel
Pjanic, Gago, Marquinho
Once again, Juventus coach Antonio Conte will have a full squad at his disposal with no suspensions or injuries to worry him.
His main concern will be deciding between a 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 formation, with the latter looking more likely in order to more closely match up against the Giallorossi. The recent good form of centre-back Leonardo Bonucci could result in Giorgio Chiellini being pushed out to the left of the defence.
Meanwhile, Fabio Quagliarella seems set to lead the line upfront, but Alessandro Matri and Marco Borriello are also in contention to start. Bianconeri talisman Alessandro Del Piero, set to leave the club at the end of the season, could face fellow Serie A icon Francesco Totti for the final time in his career.
On the opposite side of the pitch, Roma boss Luis Enrique has been toying with the idea of using Daniele De Rossi in defence during recent training sessions, a tactic he utilised earlier in the season as injury-prone Nicolas Burdisso and Juan remain on the sidelines - meaning ex-Real Madrid man Fernando Gago would anchor the midfield.
In-form Pablo Daniel Osvaldo is certain to start in attack as Erik Lamela and Fabio Borini, who could return from a leg muscle injury, vie for the remaining spot ahead of playmaker and captain Totti.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus remain unbeaten in Serie A and have the best defence, conceding just 18 goals and only allowing one in their last six matches.
- Conte's men are the team that has drawn the most times in the top flight this season, sharing the spoils a total of 14 times thus far.
- Del Piero has bagged a total of 10 Serie A goals against the capital side in his career, his second-favourite target after Siena.
- Roma have only been able to secure one victory in their last 13 Serie A encounters against Juventus.
- Summer signing Osvaldo has four goals in his last five matches and a total of 11 in 23 appearances during the 2011-12 league campaign.
- The Giallorossi have won just one of their last seven matches on the road in Serie A, a 1-0 victory against Palermo on March 10.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 Roma
- 22.12 %
Juventus 3-0 Roma
- 15.99 %
Juventus 2-1 Roma
- 10.1 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||16 Feb 2013||Roma 1 - Juventus 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||29 Sep 2012||Juventus 4 - Roma 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||22 Apr 2012||Juventus 4 - Roma 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||24 Jan 2012||Juventus 3 - Roma 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||12 Dec 2011||Roma 1 - Juventus 1|
|11 Dec 2013||Galatasaray 1 - Juventus 0||UCL|
|6 Dec 2013||Bologna 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|1 Dec 2013||Juventus 1 - Udinese 0||SR-A|
|27 Nov 2013||Juventus 3 - Copenhagen 1||UCL|
|24 Nov 2013||Livorno 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|
|16||Daniele De Rossi||Midfielder|
|17||Pablo Daniel Osvaldo||Striker|
|30||Fabio Henrique Simplicio||Midfielder|
With his recent performances, the former Udinese and Napoli striker is reported to be back in contention for a spot in the Italy squad at Euro 2012 and will have a great chance to prove himself if chosen in the starting XI by coach Conte.
|Daniele De Rossi|
The Giallorossi's 'Captaino Futuro' put in a man-of-the-match display last time these sides met in Serie A during a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico while playing at centre-back, Luis Enrique will be hoping for a performance of similar ilk from the 28-year-old in order to tame Andrea Pirlo and Co.
Roma's away record (W5 D2 L9) leaves plenty to be desired and while they typically are fired up for clashes with Juventus and they arguably have the quality to challenge the hosts, they lack the organisation and discipline. Expect the Bianconeri to continue their good form as they attempt to win the Scudetto.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed