Serie A Preview: Juventus v Verona
By Football News
Juventus entertain Verona in Serie A on Sunday in what will be the first match between the two clubs for over six years.
The sides' last meeting came in Serie B in April 2007 following Juventus’ relegation for their involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal - a fixture the Turin club won 1-0.
Indeed, the reigning top-flight champions have won nine of their last 10 games against Verona and will be expected to rack up another victory over their newly promoted opponents this time around.
Juve's bid to win a third consecutive Serie A title has got off to a strong start, with Antonio Conte's men collecting seven points from their opening three games against Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter.
Their 1-1 draw at San Siro last weekend was earned thanks to Arturo Vidal’s third Serie A goal of the season, and the Chilean midfielder is sure to provide a major attacking threat to Andrea Mandorlini's side, along with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Mirko Vucinic.
Conte will be without Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres (knee) and Simone Pepe (thigh) for the game, but midfielder Claudio Marchisio could make his first appearance of the season after a knee problem.
The size of Verona's task is shown in the fact that Juve have lost just twice in 39 Serie A games since moving to the Juventus Stadium ahead of the 2011-12 campaign.
However, they have started their first top-flight season since 2001-02 well, taking six points from their three games so far, beating fellow newly promoted outfit Sassuolo 2-0 last time out.
Verona will also take heart from the fact they have already overcome one of the giants of Italian football this term as they came from behind to beat Milan 2-1 on the opening weekend, while they lost just four times away on their way to finishing second in Serie B last season.