Juventus-Genoa Preview: Ballardini's baptism of fire against Bianconeri

The new Grifone coach has barely been in the job a week but already has an uphill battle on his hands as he attempts to steer the club away from relegation


Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres
L'steiner, Pogba, Vidal, Marchisio, De Ceglie
Quagliarella, Vucinic

, Granqvist, Manfredini, Moretti
Rossi, Kucka, Matuzalem, Antonelli
Immobile, Borriello

New Genoa coach Davide Ballardini could probably not have an envisaged a more difficult opener when his side travel to Turin to face Serie A champions and current leaders Juventus.

But there is hope for the 49-year-old, as the Bianconeri are without key injured players Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Pirlo, while Kwadwo Asamoah is at the Africa Cup of Nations.

It means Paul Pogba, who scored a stunning double last weekend for the Old Lady, is likely to continue in midfield.

Meanwhile, the visitors will be without defender Juan Manuel Vargas and striker Bosko Jankovic for the trip to Juventus Stadium, but January signing Thomas Manfredini from Atalanta looks almost certain to start at the back.

Ciro Immobile, who has been linked with Juventus, is likely to start up front. New signings Ruben Olivera (loan) and Enis Nadarevic could be on the bench.

  • Juventus' win against Udinese was their first victory in 2013, but Conte's men are still going strong as they top Serie A, five points ahead of second-placed Napoli.
  • The last time these two sides met, the Bianconeri ran out 3-1 winners with Kwadwo Asamoah (pictured, right) grabbing the clincher.
  • The Old Lady have only ever lost once to their opponents, back in 2009, when the Grifone won 3-2 and finished fifth in Serie A that year.
  • Davide Ballardini becomes Genoa's third coach already this season having replaced Luigi Del Neri and Luigi Di Canio, respectively.
  • Ballardini has already taken charge of the Rossoblu before, between November 2010 and June 2011. He lost both matches to Juventus that time and has only ever beaten the Bianconeri once in eight attempts, back when he was coach at Palermo.