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
By Craig Turnbull
Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres
L'steiner, Pogba, Vidal, Marchisio, De Ceglie
Pisano, Granqvist, Manfredini, Moretti
Rossi, Kucka, Matuzalem, Antonelli
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.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- 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.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 3-0 Genoa
- 27.04 %
Juventus 2-0 Genoa
- 18.28 %
Juventus 3-1 Genoa
- 9.57 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 27, 2013||Juventus 2 - Genoa 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 26, 2013||Juventus 1 - Genoa 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 16, 2012||Genoa 1 - Juventus 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 11, 2012||Genoa 0 - Juventus 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 22, 2011||Juventus 2 - Genoa 2|
|Mar 9, 2014||Juventus 1 - Fiorentina 0||ITA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Feb 27, 2014||Trabzonspor AŞ 0 - Juventus 2||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Juventus 1 - Torino 0||ITA1|
|Feb 20, 2014||Juventus 2 - Trabzonspor AŞ 0||EL|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|83||Antonio Floro Flores||Striker|
The man of the moment. The 19-year-old showed his undoubted class in the last round where he produced two top-class goals to ensure a healthy victory over Udinese. The midield prospect is strong in the air and has great vision and awareness of players around him. And as the evidence suggested against the Zebrette, he is more than capable of finding the net from long distance.
Has been often linked with a move to Juventus so may have a point to prove here in front of the hosts. Genoa have lacked the firepower upfront to cause teams any real trouble especially on their travels. Seven goals in 10 away games speaks volumes for their striking woes but the 22-year-old, who scored against Inter recently, will be determined to ensure that Juventus do not have it all their own way.
Genoa have struggled on the road this season having only managed to get eight points out of a possible 30. Defensively they seem quite solid, but going forward they have lacked a clinical edge in front of goal. Juve will be too strong for their opponents and should comfortably beat the Grifone here.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed