Stefano Pioli is displeased. His Bologna side gave up a goal in the dying minutes of added extra time on Tuesday, finding themselves knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Serie B side Siena. That's the fourth time in as many games that Bologna have taken the lead, or found an equalizer, only to drop points by the final whistle. Now the rossoblu are in 17th, out of the relegation zone only because they beat fellow strugglers Livorno back in October.
Perhaps there's something about Bologna's 3-4-2-1 that just isn't working, but Pioli seems intent on it, although he does like to shuffle his personnel a bit. György Garics shifts from right back to right wingback and Panagiotis Kone moves into a more attacking role as the Bologna manager tries his best to come up with a correct balance in the midfield, attempting to protect his fragile back line. It hasn't worked yet. About the only constant in the rossoblu side is Alessandro Diamanti.
More from our team sites
More from our team sites
On one hand, you wonder why Pioli should change things to face Serie A's top side. On the other, if it isn't working, and Bologna are most likely going to lose to Juventus anyway, why not shake things up a bit?
It's probably a given that Juve, who are perfect through their last six, will go to Bologna and come away with an easy three points. True, the Old Lady will likely be using their b-squad to preserve precious resources for the must-win match against Galatasaray on Tuesday night. It'll likely be Simone Padoin and Federico Peluso on the wings, while Leonardo Bonucci could get a rest in favor of Angelo Ogbonna, creating some weak spots in the Juventus squad. Up top, Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente may sit, making way for Fabio Quagliarella and the near-forgotten Mirko Vučinić.
Juventus using their reserves will likely do little to change the outcome of the match, however. It's not that the bianconeri bench is that stupendous -- although it's certainly solid -- it's just that Bologna are really that poor. Their defense has improved since conceding 12 goals in three games, but the rossoblu still have a tendency to go to pieces at the back.
Bologna injuries and suspensions
Juventus injuries and suspensions
Bologna (3-4-2-1): Curci; Antonsson, Natali, Mantovani; Garics, Pérez, Khrin, Morleo; Kone, Diamanti; Bianchi
Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Chiellini, Ogbonna; Padoin, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio, Peluso; Vučinić, Quagliarella
Match Date / Time
Friday, December 6 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna
TV: Premium Calcio, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy); BT Sport 2 (UK); beIN Sport USA, RAI Internazionale (USA)
Online: beIN Sport Play (USA); bet365