Pescara - Juventus Preview: Bianconeri look to defend top spot
The Old Lady suffered a setback last Saturday when their unbeaten run came to an end against Inter, but a win will ensure they keep their noses in front at the summit
By Daniel Edwards
Cosic, Bocchetti, Capuano
Zanon, Blasi, Quintero, Cascione, Modesto,
Barzagli, Bonucci, ChielliniIsla, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah,
The choice to start Chilean winger Mauricio Isla ahead of Stephan Lichtsteiner paid off, as the star contributed an assist against the Danes, but Alessandro Matri is likely to return to the bench after a fruitless evening.
Pescara will be boosted by the continued presence of Juan Quintero in the middle of the pitch and Giovanni Stroppa is likely to name an identical team to the one that saw off Parma five days ago.
Quintero spent time in hospital during the week as a precaution, after suffering bouts of dizziness, but has returned to training and is expected to play against the Scudetto holders on Saturday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Pescara broke a 19-year spell outside of Serie A when they returned to the top flight in 2012. The club finished Serie B champions, pipping Torino to the title on head-to-head results.
- Ex-Juventus striker Ciro Immobile (right) was key to Pescara's bid. Now at Genoa, the striker was on loan from the Bianconeri and notched an impressive 28 goals to finish Serie B top scorer.
- The Delfini have made a respectable start to their first campaign back amongst the big boys. They currently lie in 14th place, having won three and lost six of their opening 11 matches.
- Juve have endured a mixed seven days. The champions saw a 49-match unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of Inter, but also managed to record a first Champions League victory of the season over FC Nordsjaelland on Wednesday.
- The Bianconeri currently lead Inter by one point at the top of Serie A. They also boast the league's best goal difference, scoring 23 times and conceding just eight.
- Only Roma have outscored the Old Lady in 2012-13 domestically; but curiously, not one player figures among the top 10 Serie A goalscorers.
|William Hill: £25 in free bets|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Pescara 0-3 Juventus
- 28.52 %
Pescara 0-2 Juventus
- 14.1 %
Pescara 0-4 Juventus
- 11.45 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||6 Apr 2013||Juventus 2 - Pescara 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||10 Nov 2012||Pescara 1 - Juventus 6|
|Italy - Serie B (ITA2)||31 Mar 2007||Pescara 0 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie B (ITA2)||11 Nov 2006||Juventus 2 - Pescara 0|
|1 Mar 2014||Avellino 1 - Pescara 1||ITA2|
|22 Feb 2014||Bari 1 - Pescara 0||ITA2|
|15 Feb 2014||Pescara 1 - Varese 2||ITA2|
|8 Feb 2014||Crotone 3 - Pescara 0||ITA2|
|1 Feb 2014||Pescara 0 - Trapani 1||ITA2|
|14||Eugenio Romolo Togni||Midfielder|
The Colombian teenager is highly-regarded after making an impressive start to life in Italian football, endearing himself instantly to Pescara fans with moments such as his stunning free kick against Bologna. Having recovered from a health scare, he has a great opportunity to further enhance his profile against the Bianconeri.
He was one of the stars against FC Nordsjaelland with his tireless midfield work and surges into the opposition penalty area. His partnership with the more cultured Andrea Pirlo forms the cornerstone of the team.
The reigning champions have something to prove after last Saturday's defeat to Inter, and should be firm favourites to return to winning ways, one week on.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed