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Serie A

  • February 18, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Juventus Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 31000

Juventus - Catania Preview: Bianconeri aiming to return to the top of the table with win over Sicilians

Despite the hosts' unbeaten form in Serie A, recent draws have put their title credentials into doubt, and now prepare to face the Elefanti, fresh from putting Genoa to the sword



Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
Caceres, G'erini, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie
Matri, Quagliarella

Motta, Spolli, Legrottaglie, Marchese
Izco, Lodi, Almiron
Gomez, Bergessio, Barrientos

Juventus look likely to stick with the 3-5-2 system deployed against Parma midweek, but not without four changes in personnel. Arturo Vidal's absence is enforced due to suspension, so Emanuele Giaccherini is expected to take up a central midfield role in his absence, while Martin Caceres, Paolo De Ceglie and Fabio Quagliarella are to replace fellow trio Stephan Lichtsteiner, Marcelo Estigarribia and Mirko Vucinic.

Meanwhile for visitors Catania, coach Vincenzo Montella is set to name an unchanged XI from last weekend's 4-0 mauling of Genoa. However, Andrea Campagnolo and David Suazo remain out of contention for a little longer yet, while Ciro Capuano requites a late fitness test, and Alessandro Potenza has been ruled out for the season.

  • Catania have lost only two of their nine clashes against Juventus since their return to Serie A in 2006.
  • However, the Sicilians have managed to beat Juve only once during this time.
  • Nevertheless, Catania are unbeaten in their last three away trips to Turin.
  • Juventus have recorded goalless draws in their last two games against Siena and Parma, despite amassing a total of 24 shots on goal.
  • However, the Bianconeri remain the only side still unbeaten amongst the 'top five' European leagues.
  • No other Italian team has drawn more games than Juve so far this season.

Players to watch

E. Giaccherini

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Arguably Juve's most impressive performer in recent weeks, the lively forward has gained admirers with his versatility, which enables him to play anywhere in midfield, while his never-say-die attitude has been met with enthusiasm by Bianconeri supporters. However, he has shown a great improvement in his technical skillset, which has seen him on the scoring trail, and he will be sure to provide a threat in the middle of the park.

P. Barrientos

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
A pair of well-taken goals against Genoa last week has seen the Argentine's stock rise sharply over the past week, after previously experiencing a difficult spell in Sicily due to injury. However, now showing signs of his best form and presented with the chance to prove his performance was no flash in the pan against the Grifoni, all eyes will be on the tricky attacking midfielder come Saturday.

Editor's Prediction

Bore draws against Parma and Siena of late should signal a possible upset on the cards in the favour of Catania, but this writer cannot envisage yet more dropped points from the hosts, who desperately need the win in order to re-establish themselves as table-toppers. However, the potency of both sides' attacks is sure to play the deciding factor.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Juventus FC JUV
Juventus FC Juventus
Calcio Catania CAT
Calcio Catania Catania

Top 3 Predictions

Juventus FC JUV
2 - 0
Calcio Catania CAT
Juventus FC JUV
3 - 0
Calcio Catania CAT
Juventus FC JUV
3 - 1
Calcio Catania CAT