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Chievo vs Juventus Preview

February 2, 2013 By Gregory Sica
After a number of recent setbacks, the Italian champions will be hoping to return to winning ways against an ever-improving Chievo in Verona.

Juventus will be desperate to preserve Serie A leadership, when they travel to the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi in what promises to be a hotly-contested encounter against Chievo on Sunday.

Following devastating Coppa Italia elimination at the hands of Lazio midweek, Juventus are more than aware of the fact that if they suffer a defeat in Verona they could possibly be overtaken by second-placed Napoli at the summit.

Juventus, who have failed to pick up a victory in their last three matches in all competitions, are evidently struggling, but they will surely play their hearts out to remain at the top of the table and to continue their charge towards back-to-back Serie A titles.

For Sunday's clash Antonio Conte will be unable to count with the services of a number of players, including Montenegrin striker Mirko Vucinic, who will serve a one-match suspension after receiving his fourth booking of the season against Genoa last weekend.

Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are also suspended for the clash, while Claudio Marchisio will miss out due to a hip injury and Kwadwo Asamoah continues to be away at the African Cup of Nations with the Ghana national team.

But despite all of the absentees, the good news is that key playmaker Andrea Pirlo has recovered from injury and will reinforce the midfield alongside Paul Pogba and Chilean hardman Arturo Vidal. 

With Fabio Quagliarella and Sebastian Giovinco set to start in the attack, new signing Nicolas Anelka will have to wait for an opportunity from the substitute's bench.

Meanwhile, rivals Chievo also have numerous selection concerns to deal with, as Luciano, Sergio Pellissier, Gennaro Sardo and Boukary Drame are all sidelined. 

Due to the amount of absentees Chievo, who picked up an unexpected 1-0 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico last weekend, could present debuts to a couple of their new signings for the clash, which include the likes of Francesco Acerbi and Mario Sampirisi.

Chievo's last four matches

Jan 26, 2013: Lazio 0-1 Chievo (Serie A)

Jan 20, 2013: Chievo 1-1 Parma (Serie A)

Jan 12, 2013: Bologna 4-0 Chievo (Serie A)

Jan 6, 2013: Chievo 1-0 Atalanta (Serie A)

Juventus' last four matches

Jan 29, 2013: Lazio 2-1 Juventus (Coppa Italia)

Jan 26, 2013: Juventus 1-1 Genoa (Serie A)

Jan 22, 2013: Juventus 1-1 Lazio (Coppa Italia)

Jan 19, 2013: Juventus 4-0 Udinese (Serie A)

Facts

- Juventus have only won one out of their last five meetings with Chievo, with the other four games ending in draws.

- Chievo are unbeaten in their last eight home games, with their last defeat coming in September at the hands of Inter Milan.

Prediction

Chievo 0-1 Juventus 




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