Catania - Juventus Preview: Antonio Conte's men face tricky away tie in Sicily
After another setback in Europe for the Bianconeri, they will be hoping to bounce back at the Stadio Angelo Massimino with a victory, but the Rossazzurri like their home comforts
By Craig Turnbull
Alvarez, Legrottaglie, Spolli, Marchese
Izco, Lodi, Almiron
Barrientos, Bergessio, Gomez
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
Lichst'r, Marchisio, Pogba, Asamoah
Juventus return to Serie A business fresh from their disappointing 1-1 draw with Nordsjaelland in midweek and will hope to erase this performance from their minds with a much improved display against Catania.
The Italian champions are on an incredible 47-game unbeaten run, but face a Rossazzurri side lying in seventh place, who have yet to lose at the Stadio Angelo Massimino this season.
Juventus, meanwhile, recorded an important 2-0 victory over Napoli in their last domestic outing. Late goals courtesy of Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba was enough for the three points. The Frenchman is expected to start against the hosts on Sunday in place of out-of-form Arturo Vidal.
Antonio Conte's men also welcome back Gianluigi Buffon, who revealed he was "angry" after the Bianconeri's ninth consecutive draw in Europe midweek. And the man who grabbed the equaliser for the Serie A giants on Wednesday, Mirko Vucinic, is also in contention for a start with Fabio Quagliarella dropping to the bench.
Catania coach Rolando Maran is expected to keep the faith in the side that were defeated by the Nerazzurri and are still without defenders Blazej Augustyn and Giuseppe Bellusci, midfielder Fabio Sciacca and striker Keko.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Catania's Mariano Izco scored the winner in the Rossazzurri's 2-1 victory against the Bianconeri back in December 2009. It was the last time Rolando Maran's men recorded victory against the Italian champions.
- Nicola Legrottaglie (pictured, right) is an ex-Juventus player, having represented the Old Lady between 2003 and 2011.
- Catania have not been defeated at home this season, but have one of the worst defensive records in the league having conceded 13 goals, only Chievo and Pescara, (both 15), have let in more.
- Juventus beat Catania 3-1 at home the last time the two sides met whilst on their way to winning the Scudetto. Andrea Pirlo scored, and also assisted Giorgio Chiellini and Fabio Quagliarella goals.
- The Bianconeri are six games unbeaten against Maran's charges.
- Juventus have yet to taste defeat in any competition so far this season whilst they have also scored the most goals in Serie A (19) and conceded the least (4).
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a 100% deposit bonus up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Catania 0-2 Juventus
- 30.36 %
Catania 0-3 Juventus
- 19.88 %
Catania 1-3 Juventus
- 8.52 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 23, 2014||Catania 0 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 30, 2013||Juventus 4 - Catania 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 10, 2013||Juventus 1 - Catania 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 28, 2012||Catania 0 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 18, 2012||Juventus 3 - Catania 1|
|Apr 19, 2014||Catania 2 - Sampdoria 1||ITA1|
|Apr 13, 2014||AC Milan 1 - Catania 0||ITA1|
|Apr 6, 2014||Catania 1 - Torino 2||ITA1|
|Mar 31, 2014||Udinese 1 - Catania 0||ITA1|
|Mar 26, 2014||Catania 2 - SSC Napoli 4||ITA1|
|13||Mariano Julio Izco||Midfielder|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
The diminutive striker has already shown what he is capable of this season by grabbing a couple of important goals and three assists for the Rossazzurri. The 24-year-old, is usually played on the left of a three-pronged attack so likes to cut inside onto his favoured right foot. A very direct player who could cause the Bianconeri defence problems.
Came on to save the blushes of his side midweek and is a handful for defenders. He has great strength and power but is also good with the ball at his feet, likes to bring others into play by holding up the ball, and playing flick-ons, which Sebastian Giovinco could thrive on, should he start.
Given the hosts' strength at home this season, Antonio Conte's charges will not have it all their own way at the Stadio Angelo Massimino. What's more, Juve have not been playing well of recent but Rolando Maran's men have one of their worst defensive records in Serie A which will contribute to their downfall here.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed