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Bologna vs Juventus Preview

February 11, 2012 By Gregory Sica
Juventus will be desperate to return to the Serie A summit when they travel to the Stadio Dall'Ara to take on relegation-troubled Bologna on Sunday.

Team News

Juventus enter the match with high spirits, after having edged AC Milan 2-1 in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals at the San Siro stadium midweek. Antonio Conte, the coach of the side, is expected to field an extremely strong starting eleven against Bologna, with Simone Pepe being the only player of note who is in doubt for the game. 

Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres, who scored twice as Juve beat Milan in the Coppa Italia, will have to wait for his opportunity from the substitute's bench.

Bologna coach Stefano Pioli will be boosted by the return of both Nicola Pulzetti and Kone, who have recently recovered from injury setbacks, while Alessandro Diamanti and Gaston Ramirez are expected to recover from slight knocks just in time to face the Bianconeri.

Form

Despite having drawn their last four matches, Bologna will definitely give Juve a run for their money on their own turf on Sunday. Due to the fact that they find themselves only two spots above the relegation zone, Pioli's side will need to look for the victory at all costs. They should be inspired by the fact that they remain unbeaten in their last five Serie A games.

Juventus continue to remain unbeaten this season, but although they obtained a massive victory over Milan in the Coppa Italia midweek, their recent league form hasn't been all that great, as they have been held to frustrating draws by the likes of Siena and Cagliari. Due to their Coppa Italia commitments, it wouldn't be strange if the Bianconeri look a little fatigued on Sunday.

Head-to-head

Juventus come into the game as the odds on favourites, not only due to the fact that they have managed to remain unbeaten all season, but because they have had the upperhand over their opponents in recent history. La Vecchia Signora are unbeaten at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara in their last nine games, having dropped a mere three points on their visits.

But while Bologna defeated Juventus 2-0 in the Serie A last season, they have won just one of their last twenty games against the Italian giants. 

The last meeting between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw last September, when Mirko Vucinic had opened the scoring for Juve, before Daniele Portanova rescued the visitors an unlikely point.

Prediction

Both teams know that much is at stake when they clash on Sunday, as while hosts Bologna will want to ease their relegation concerns, Juventus will play their hearts out to return to the top of the Serie A, after having been provisionally overtaken by Milan, after the Rossoneri came from behind to defeat Udinese on Saturday. Expect a stiff battle in the midfield in a game which could be won by either side.

The Verdict:

Bologna 2-1 Juventus


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