Cesena Vs. Juventus, Preview: Can The Old Lady Find A Spark Of Creativity?

Week in, week out, it feels as though the same storyline is repeated: Juventus have to win this week. This will be the week that they turn the season around. And when they won two in a row, with the second a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan, it seemed that the Old Lady had found a way to redeem herself, that she'd manage to find a way into the Champions League positions.

Now, almost exactly a month later, Juventus have lost the plot once again. They've lost their last three matches and, even more tellingly, have failed to score in each of them. They're down a blind alley and they can't craft a suitable twist that enables Miloš Krasić to find a rope, grab Alessandro Matri and swing across the brick wall to safety. The analogy might seem silly, yet it perfectly encapsulates Juventus: players trapped in the final third of the pitch, unable to find that creative twist that enables a goal.

After losing Fabio Quagliarella for the rest of the season, then breaking Luca Toni as soon as they brought him on (he's fine now; they've used some super glue and think the patch will hold for a few more weeks), it seemed as though Juventus had found a solution when they bought Matri from Cagliari. He scored two goals against his former club before providing the winner against Inter, but since that match, Matri has fizzled out, with both he and Krasić easily shut down.

As for Cesena, the Seahorses are flying high these days. Seven points from three matches have lifted them out of the drop zone, although barely -- they're still tied on points with Lecce. A win over Juventus would provide a safety net for Cesena, and although they might not be daring to dream (after all, every week is the week Juventus could turn this around), it may be as simple as concentrating on neutralizing the Juventus attack. With Gigi Delneri intent on playing a 4-4-2 week in, week out, it's become almost too easy for the opposition to shut them out.

Recently, the best match for Juventus was against Cagliari, when they fielded a 4-1-4-1 with Matri in front. Should Delneri return to such a strategy, he might save both his job and a European position for the club. But just a simple change, such as Alex Del Piro returning to the starting XI, will likely not be enough for a Juventus victory. In that case, Gigi should have his suitcases packed.

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