The Bianconeri will be confident of consolidating their Scudetto chances but will not find it easy in Verona against the Flying Donkeys...Catching The Cold
With the fall of December, Chievo have gone cold as they have struggled this month in Serie A. Last month's 2-1 triumph over Italian and European champions Inter placed the Flying Donkeys within reach of a European place but a three-match winless run this month has dragged them to mid-table mediocrity.
Not that a mid-table slot is abominable to a club like Chievo for whom survival in the Italian top flight is the primary objective, but with 20 points from 16 matches, the Veronese side find themselves just five points above the relegation - a worrying sign if Ceo do not resume winning matches.
Last weekend Chievo lost 3-2 in Lecce and allowed the relegation-battlers to draw closer to them. This weekend a win against Juventus at home is unlikely as the Bianconeri are in a great run of form but the Flying Donkeys will aspire for at least a point against the former Italian champions.
Juventus' European adventure came to a disappointing but potentially beneficial end on Thursday evening when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester City in Turin. It was, comically, their sixth draw in six matches in the group stage of the competition, but their fate in Europe was already sealed before the visit of the Premier League team.
This means that Luigi Del Neri's men will now be able to focus fully on their Scudetto challenge and indeed the Bianconeri have emerged as the most credible challenger to Milan in the title race.
With 30 points from 16 matches, Juve are six points adrift of the Rossoneri but having gone 17 matches unbeaten in all competition, they are in a great form and will aspire to wrap up 2010 with a victory in Verona.
The Old Lady's away form has been impressive so far this season as they have won four of their eight matches away from Turin in the league and have conceded just four goals - the best defensive record in the division. Winning against Chievo could take them closer to Milan since the Diavolo host ambitious Roma on Saturday evening and are likely to find it a tough encounter.
Thereau and Morero are unavailable because of injury. Rigoni is suspended.
Buffon, Motta, Rinaudo, De Ceglie, Martinez and Amauri are nursing injuries and will sit out the match. Felipe Melo is suspended.