Genoa vs Juventus
Stadio Luigi Ferraris sets the stage for a lopsided Serie A encounter between promoted Genoa and title-bidding Juventus.
Genoa’s once promising-looking top-flight return is descending into disarray as last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Monza steered them closer to the drop zone. Only three points clear of 18th-placed Empoli, Alberto Gilardino’s men have started flirting with relegation territory sooner than expected after only winning two of their last ten league outings (D2, L5). Their only victories in that sequnce encouragingly arrived on home turf, albeit it’s worth noting that each came against fellow bottom-half strugglers Salernitana and Hellas Verona. On the upside, Genoa ran our 2-1 victors in their last home meeting with Juventus in Serie A and could now make it two wins in a row for the first time since 1991. One of the prerequisites is to stop conceding late, with their tally of nine goals allowed beyond the 75th minute the division’s joint-high.
On the other hand, Juventus eked on another 1-0 win last weekend, overcoming defending champions Napoli at home to maintain a two-point deficit on table-topping Inter Milan. Despite posting their fifth 1-0 triumph across the opening 15 Serie A rounds, ‘I Bianconeri’ can’t care less about the aesthetics as long as their defensive set-up remains as resilient as it’s been in the early exchanges. With only Inter (7) bettering Juventus’ tally of just nine goals conceded, one goal could prove enough to settle this tie. To substantiate this hypothesis – the visitors’ defensive prowess has already yielded an eye-catching nine clean sheets in Serie A this season, backing Allegri’s concept that ‘the end justifies the means.’ Adding to Juve’s confidence, they take this trip amidst a three-match winning streak on hostile turf.