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SerieAWeekly On November - 18 - 2011

Italian Serie A Week 11 Preview: Juventus vs Palermo

by serieaweekly writer Matthew Coccoluto

With the international break over, means it’s time for the European domestic leagues including Italian Serie A to get back in action.

Juventus will welcome Palermo on Sunday with the hosts coming off of an extended break. Due to their last game against Napoli being postponed, it has been an astonishing 21 days since Juventus beat Inter at the San Siro. Palermo return to action after a solid 3-1 home win again Bologna prior to 14 day disruption.

Palermo currently sit in fifth place with 16 points after 10 games while Juventus are one spot above with 19 points in 9 games.  A sold out crowd is expected for the Sunday match between these two in what will surely be an intense atmosphere as both teams look to climb further up the table.

Will be interesting to see how the long layoff affects Juventus, as it may be difficult to get into the proper mindset after three weeks without a competitive match (don’t forget the postponed match against Napoli due to flooding).

Conte will have to motivate his team or run the risk of being caught flat-footed. On the other hand, the long rest may have the Juventus players anxious and ready to get back on the pitch. Juventus should look to push forward often, in hopes to break down Palermo’s shaky defense.

So far the Sicilians have allowed 12 goals this season which is second most amongst the top seven teams in Serie A, behind only Milan who had that terrible spell to start the campaign.

Prior to the postponed match Juventus were enjoying fine form and top spot of the table. Alessandro Matri has been brilliant of late and was threatening in the few minutes he featured for Gli Azzurri. As always, the international break brought forth more transfer news with Milos Krasic once again rumored to leave as well as Michele Pazienza, who typically features as a late sub to help out the defense. In more important and relevant news, Emanuele Giaccherini has returned from his injury he sustained early in October as well as Andrea Barzagli, who had to leave the Italy camp with a thigh problem. Barzagli, who joined Juventus last year from Wolfsburg, enjoyed his longest stint in competitive football at Palermo, from 2004 until 2008.

Palermo will sure to be excited for this game, as due to their recent history against Juventus. Palermo have yet to register a win this season on the road but have had a lot of success against Juventus over the past few seasons. In the last four meetings in Serie A between the two teams, Palermo are 4-0 scoring 9 goals while only allowing 2. Juventus have not won in Torino against Palermo since November 25, 2007.

A player that Juve will have to watch is Fabrizio Miccoli. This campaign he has 3 goals and 3 assists. He has also scored 3 times against his former club over the years. Conte will have his hands full preparing for Palermo as they have used a variety of players this year. Their manager Devis Mangia has regularly switched his starting players, especially the pairings of his midfielders and forwards, using a combination of Miccoli, Hernandez, Illic, and Zehavi in different roles. There has been some news this week out of the Palermo camp about former Juventus player, Federico Balzaretti, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the club. Zamparini made a comment this week about the future of the Italian international saying that if the defender wishes he may leave to join PSG. If he does decide to leave he would be following in the footsteps of Javier Pastore and Salvatore Sirgu, who left for Paris in the summer.

Antonio Conte will most likely go with the same formation he had deployed against Inter and Fiorentina. Mangia does like to keep his opposition guessing but he may wish to keep the same line-up as two weeks ago in hope of finding the same results with the addition of Miccoli.

Probable Starting XI

Juventus: Buffon; Lichsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini; Marchisio, Vidal, Pirlo; Vucinic, Matri, Pepe

Palermo: Tzorva; Cetto, Silvestre, Pisano, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Bacinovic, Zahavi; Ilicic, Miccoli, Hernandez

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  • Adebayo del piero’s dad’

    Am only afriad of 21 days of non competitive match bcos it might have deepen the strenght of the team or vice visa

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