It's the battle of the 'Bianconeris' in which the visitors from Udine could stage an upset in Turin...
Juventus' 2010-11 season appears to have collapsed. The 4-1 hammering by Parma in Turin at the start of the new year triggered an avalanche, which albeit somewhat contained now, has left long-lasting damage and also helped expose the cracks that were already present in the Old Lady's fortress.
With Scudetto hopes virtually relinquished, Juve's Coppa Italia ambitions too were put to flight on Thursday evening as the Bianconeri suffered a 2-0 defeat to Roma in Turin in the quarter-finals. This leaves Juventus with no chance of winning a (major) trophy. Again.
However, Luigi Del Neri's side have much to play for between now and the end of the season. Currently stationed in sixth place in the league standings, Juve have collected 35 points from 21 matches and are just a couple of points behind Lazio, who are fourth.
The former Italian and European champions are nine points behind leaders Milan but a disappointing run of form that has seen them win just once in the league this month have put them way off the pace as far as launching a challenge for the Scudetto is concerned.
Italy's Most Attractive Team
Udinese are fast becoming the neutral's favourites as the Bianconeri continue to exhibit lovely passing, free-flowing and attacking football inspired by the attacking duo of Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Di Natale. Last season's relegation candidates, Francesco Guidolin's side are rapidly becoming serious challengers for a top-six finish.
With 33 points from 21 matches, Udinese are a point behind Palermo in eighth and just a couple of points behind Juventus. Finishing in the top six in Serie A would be massive for a club like Udinese and, indeed, a victory over Del Neri's struggling team this weekend could see them break into a European place.
Udinese head to Turin on the back of a 3-1 demolition of Italian and European champions Inter in Udine last weekend. It was the third time this month alone that the Zebrette had scored three or more goals in a single match, and they do guarantee entertainment and thrill at the Olimpico Grande Torino where Juventus have often looked insipid, unimaginative and uninspiring.
Rinaudo, De Ceglie, Iaquinta, Quagliarella, Toni and Traore are out injured and will miss this match. Amauri and Del Piero will start in attack in a 4-4-2 formation.
Basta, Ferronetti and Angella are injured and will not travel to Turin. Di Natale and Alexis Sanchez will be the forwards in a 3-5-2 system.