Another exciting match is upon on us Monday when two of the historically best teams in Italy collide in the country’s capital, as Juventus travel to face Roma. This will be the Old Lady’s fifth game in a little over two weeks. Juventus are coming in with blistering form as they continue to get positive results. Roma on the other hand are coming in after a run of poor results and will surely be looking to please the home crowd with a win against the league leaders. This will also be a historic match as it will be the first Serie A match televised in 3D.
The atmosphere will surely be intense as there is not a lot of love between the two teams. Looking past the long-standing rivalry, the recent history has put these teams on a new parallel as both teams came into this season hoping to erase last year’s performance. Last season was seen as a disappointment for both clubs as Roma finished 6th on the table, one ahead of Juventus. This summer saw each club go through various changes. Both clubs brought in young managers, 41 year old Luis Enrique and 42-year-old Antonio Conte, as well as a number of new players. However where Juventus have found nothing but success, Roma have been quite opposite.
Home will be a welcomed site for Luis Enrique’s men. This season has been a turbulent one as the new look Roma have yet to find consistency. They are coming back home after two consecutive road losses, 2-0 at Udinese and 3-0 at Fiorentina. There has been a lot of pressure on the new coach and new ownership to return Roma to greatness or at least show the fans that they are capable of competing with the better teams. Expect the fans to be very animated in this game. Roma supporters are some of the most passionate around and they can alter the outcome of a game. The team will need the fans if they hope to win the match on Monday. They have only one win against teams in the top half of the table this season. As bad as things are there still much hope for the team with much potential. However don’t expect this to be the game for everything to click, Enrique will be without some key defenders. Simon Kjaer, Marco Cassetti, Nicolas Burdisso, David Pizarro, and Fabio Borini will all be absent meaning the young coach will have to do some serious tampering with his defense. The good news is that top scorer, Pablo Osvaldo returns after being suspended for punching a teammate.
Juventus come into the capital after a shortened break due to a mid week clash with Bologna in the Coppa Italia. That shouldn’t affect the team as most of the regular starters did not play. By now, everyone knows what to expect as Antonio Conte has found his formula and will have no need to change it. The big loss will be Mirko Vucinic as the winger picked up an injury and will not be featured against his former team. Surely he would have liked to silence the Roma fans as he labeled them as one of the reasons for his departure. Andrea Pirlo returns to the starting line-up after serving a suspension last week against Cesena. The Coppa Italia clash did give a look at some other Juventus players who hadn’t normally played and the performance of some may alter how Conte will make his subs. Giaccherini and Del Piero both played very well and Elijero Elia seemed to hit a stride towards the end so Conte may look to feature those players in the second half.
Luis Enrique will have a handful figuring out his defense as he will most likely pull a midfielder back to take the position, possibly De Rossi or Perrotta. Conte has no such issues, as Estigarribia will easily slide in up front for Vucinic.
Probable Starting XI
AS Roma: Stekelenburg; Rosi, De Rossi, Heinze, Taddei; Perrotta, Viviani, Pjanic; Totti; Osvaldo, Lamela
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Pirlo, Marchisio, Vidal; Estigarribia, Matri, Pepe