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Juventus - Roma Preview: Zeman looking to end Juve's unbeaten run
There is no love lost between the Giallorossi coach and the Turin outfit after relations turned sour and the 65-year-old will be eager to put a black mark on the Bianconeri record
By Craig Turnbull
Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Vidal, Marchisio, Pirlo, Lichtsteiner, Asamoah
Piris, Burdisso, Castan, Balzaretti
Bradley, De Rossi, Florenzi
Lamela, Osvaldo, Totti
It is 44 not out for Juventus as they look to continue their incredible unbeaten run when they host Roma on Saturday. Antonio Conte and Massimo Carrera's men fought out a 0-0 draw with Fiorentina midweek as the Viola made them work hard for a point in Florence and perhaps Vincenzo Montella's side will feel aggrieved they did not gain all three.
Zdenek Zeman's team meanwhile have been stuttering for form of late and despite beating Inter 3-1 a couple of weeks ago at San Siro, they have since recently lost 3-2 to Bologna, after taking a two-goal lead, and drew 1-1 at home to 10-man Sampdoria on Wednesday.
The games between the two are usually an enticing encounter - the last match in April finished 4-0 to the Bianconeri - but perhaps this fixture holds more importance and intrigue than normal with Zeman visiting Juventus Stadium for the first time, the man who led accusations of a doping scandal against the Turin outfit in the 90s. Since then, there has been a hostile relationship between him and the club and how he would love to be the one to prevent Juve's unbeaten run from continuing.
The Serie A champions will be without Simone Pepe and Simone Padoin while Claudio Marchisio is set to be re-instated along with Mirko Vucinic and Alessandro Matri.
The visitors Roma are without duo Miralem Pjanic and Dodo. Meanwhile Pablo Osvaldo is expected to replace young Italian striker Mattia Destro.
|DID YOU KNOW?
- Juventus' Andrea Pirlo (pictured right) will face Roma for the 21st time on Saturday. His record so far against the Giallorossi is won eight, drawn six and lost six.
- The Bianconeri midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah leads the way in the assist chart with three from five matches. Roma's Francesco Totti has two.
- The Old Lady, having gone a season unbeaten, last lost in Serie A to Parma on May 15, 2011.
- Roma have only been able to secure one victory in their last 14 Serie A encounters against Juventus which stretches back to February 2004.
- After scoring against Sampdoria midweek, Francesco Totti has become third joint top goalscorer of all time in Serie A with 216. He joins Giuseppe Meazza and Jose Altafini.
- The Giallorossi coach Zdenek Zeman had been away from Serie A for seven years until joining the club in the summer after leading Pescara to the Serie B title and promotion.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 Roma
- 20.03 %
Juventus 1-2 Roma
- 14.92 %
Juventus 3-1 Roma
- 11.58 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 16, 2013||Roma 1 - Juventus 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 29, 2012||Juventus 4 - Roma 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 22, 2012||Juventus 4 - Roma 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Jan 24, 2012||Juventus 3 - Roma 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 12, 2011||Roma 1 - Juventus 1|
|May 18, 2013||Sampdoria 3 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|May 11, 2013||Juventus 1 - Cagliari 1||ITA1|
|May 8, 2013||Atalanta 0 - Juventus 1||ITA1|
|May 5, 2013||Juventus 1 - Palermo 0||ITA1|
|Apr 28, 2013||Torino 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|29||Nicolas Andres Burdisso||Defender|
|16||Daniele De Rossi||Midfielder|
|9||Pablo Daniel Osvaldo||Striker|
|23||Iván Rodrigo Piris||Defender|
He may not have found his rhythm for the Old Lady since lighting up Euro 2012 this Summer, but the 33-year-old is more than capable of producing an exceptional display on Saturday. The veteran midfielder, if given time on the ball can be deadly. At times it looks effortless as he strolls around the park, nonchalantly spreading the play and retaining possession while creating chances for the strikers and he could be pivotal in how the Bianconeri fair against Zdenek Zeman's men.
Created history by grabbing his 216th goal in Serie A for the Giallorossi against Sampdoria midweek, Totti is a remarkable talent that could be the key to Roma's success against Juventus. Influential and experienced, the Italian also inspires those around him to lift their game. An excellent first touch with the ability to use both feet, he may have lost his pace but the 36-year-old can still produce at the highest level and if the visitors have any joy in this match, Totti will be involved.
There is added incentive for Roma to do well here, with Zeman at the helm and only one win in 14 attempts against their rivals but, the Bianconeri, who were not overly convincing against Fiorentina in their last match, will have too much firepower up front against a shaky Giallorossi defence.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed