Palermo - Juventus Preview: Serie A title chase back on for Conte's men against crippled Rosanero
The visitors reduced the gap to leaders AC Milan down to two points last weekend and will be hoping to make up further ground against the hosts, who have a number of absentees
By Adam Scime
Munoz, Milanovic, Labrin
Pisano, Migliaccio, Rocca, Barreto, Acquah
Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Ceglie
Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio
Pepe, Matri, Vucinic
Palermo have a good record against Juventus in recent times, but will not be optimistic for this match due to a number of key absences. Coach Bortolo Mutti has four players suspended in the form of defender Andrea Mantovani, midfielders Nicolas Bertolo and Massimo Donati, as well as striker Abel Hernandez.
Meanwhile, first-choice left-back and centre-back, Federico Balzaretti and Matias Silvestre, are injured and will not recover in time to feature - meaning that youngsters Carlos Labrin and Afriyie Acquah should get rare chances to impress from the referee's first whistle.
The visitors are in the opposite situation, with no suspensions or knocks to worry boss Antonio Conte going into the clash in Sicily.
Following Marco Borriello's sub-par performance during the 3-0 victory over Napoli, he looks set to be dropped to the bench in favour of top-scorer Alessandro Matri as the coach reverts back to a 4-3-3 formation rather than the 3-5-2 he has utilised in recent weeks.
Former Palermo man Andrea Barzagli should line up alongside Giorgio Chiellini in the centre of defence, and further forward Simone Pepe is expected to re-enter the starting XI to provide width in attack after only earning a place on the bench last Sunday.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Palermo suffered a 3-0 loss to Juventus in the first part of the season, which ended a four-match winning streak against the Bianconeri in Serie A.
- The Rosanero have scored 32 goals on home soil, and are tied with Napoli for the highest total in the league.
- Since being promoted in 2004, Palermo lead the record between the two teams in the top flight over 13 encounters with seven wins, one draw and five defeats.
- Juventus have not won at the Renzo Barbera since a 2-0 victory in February 2009, when Mohamed Sissoko and David Trezeguet were on the scoresheet.
- Leonardo Bonucci and Alessandro Matri recently penned new five-year contracts with the Turin giants.
- Conte's side have only conceded eight goals away from home this campaign during a stretch of 15 matches.
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Top 3 Predictions
Palermo 0-2 Juventus
- 30.64 %
Palermo 0-3 Juventus
- 18.56 %
Palermo 1-3 Juventus
- 10.26 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 5, 2013||Juventus 1 - Palermo 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 9, 2012||Palermo 0 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 7, 2012||Palermo 0 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 20, 2011||Juventus 3 - Palermo 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 2, 2011||Palermo 2 - Juventus 1|
|Apr 17, 2014||Palermo 1 - Reggina 0||ITA2|
|Apr 12, 2014||Trapani 0 - Palermo 1||ITA2|
|Apr 4, 2014||Palermo 2 - Avellino 0||ITA2|
|Mar 29, 2014||Varese 1 - Palermo 2||ITA2|
|Mar 25, 2014||Palermo 1 - Siena 1||ITA2|
|7||Francesco Della Rocca||Midfielder|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|
Despite almost leaving Sicily last summer, Miccoli is having a banner year, even leading the Serie A in assists at the moment. The former Juventus man always seems to turn in dynamite performances against the club that cast him aside and will be eager to make them pay once again for not giving him more opportunities to shine in Turin.
Juventus’ top-scorer this season does not seem to have the confidence of coach Conte and has been rotated in and out of the line-up. Now will be the former Cagliari star’s chance to prove he is worthy of being a mainstay in the Bianconeri attacking line.
Juventus record away this season has not been spectacular with six wins and nine draws, but the Sicilians may be too depleted in personnel this time around to cause a roadbump in the Bianconeri's Scudetto challenge.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed