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Serie A

  • January 19, 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Juventus Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: L. Banti
  • • Attendance: 36109

Juventus - Udinese Preview: Antonio Conte's side seek first Serie A victory of 2013

Juventus - Udinese Preview: Antonio Conte's side seek first Serie A victory of 2013

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Having secured only one point from a possible six since the winter break, the Old Lady will look to get back to winning ways against Francesco Guidolin's in-form side



Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci
Lichtsteiner, Pirlo, Vidal, Pogba, Isla
Giovinco, Vucinic


Danilo, Domizzi, Heurtaux
Basta, Pinzi, Lazzari, Pereyra, Pasquale
Di Natale, Muriel

Juventus go in search of their first league victory of 2013 when they face Udinese. Since the winter break, the Old Lady have seen their eight-point lead cut to just three after they suffered a shock 2-1 loss at home to 10-man Sampdoria which was followed by last week's 1-1 away draw with Parma.

Antonio Conte has a few injury concerns ahead of Saturday's clash with Fabio Quagliarella and midfield duo Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal all set to undergo late fitness tests. The game is expected to come too soon for Claudio Marchisio who only returned to light training earlier this week.

The Juventus coach is expected to make several changes from the side which dropped two points at Parma, with Mirko Vucinic, Mauricio Isla and Luca Marrone all pushing for starting berths. Paul Pogba is expected to continue in central midfield while Sebastian Giovinco is poised to once again lead the front line.

Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin is forced to make one change from the team that defeated Fiorentina 3-1 as first-choice goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic is set for a short spell on the sidelines having fractured his finger. Daniele Padelli will therefore take his place between the sticks.

The Zebrette coach will be hoping that Antonio Di Natale will be fit; the 35-year-old striker has not trained all week due to illness. Thomas Heurtaux will once again fill in for Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations whilst Brazilian midfielder Allan could start after his impressive cameo against Fiorentina.


  • In the reverse fixture back in September, Juventus cruised to a 4-1 victory with goals from Vidal, Vucinic and Giovinco (2) in a game which also saw Udinese goalkeeper Brkic sent off. Juventus are the only side to have won at the Friuli this season. 
  • Juventus host the best defensive record in the league, having conceded only 14 goals from 20 matches.
  • The Old Lady have an impressive head-to-head home record against the Zebrette, winning 28 of the 38 previous encounters (W28 D4 L6).
  • Udinese are unbeaten in their last six Serie A matches but have only secured two wins away from home this season.
  • Saturday's showdown will be Francesco Guidolin's 500th Serie A match in charge. The 57-year-old coach has never led a side to a clean sheet in Turin.
  • Antonio Di Natale is the second-highest goalscorer in Serie A this season, tied on 14 goals with AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy. Only Napoli's Edison Cavani has notched more league goals (16).

Players to watch

S. Giovinco

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 25-year-old striker seems to have nailed down a starting forward role in Antonio Conte's lineup and is the Old Lady's joint top league goalscorer with six goals. With five assists also to his name, the pacey forward could prove to be the difference against the Zebrette. He was the stand-out performer in the reverse fixture back in September when he scored twice and won the penalty which resulted in Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic being sent off.

L. Muriel

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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It is little surprise that Udinese's recent good form has coincided with the return of Luis Muriel from injury. The Colombian 21-year-old striker has attracted interest from Europe's top clubs, including Juventus, with his recent performances and has scored a goal in each of his last three matches. Muriel has struck a deadly partnership with top goalscorer Antonio Di Natale and his pace and trickery will no doubt keep the Juventus back line busy.

Editor's Prediction

Udinese are on a fantastic run of form as of late but I expect their struggles on the road to continue here against a solid Juventus defence. A narrow first Serie A victory of 2013 for Antonio Conte's men.

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Reader's Predictions

Juventus FC JUV
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Udinese Calcio UDI
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Top 3 Predictions

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2 - 0
Udinese Calcio UDI
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2 - 1
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3 - 1
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