Juventus vs Siena, Preview: David meets Goliath head on in Turin

Gabriele Maltinti

This match isn’t as cut and dried as some people may think.

Forget the fact that Siena have taken up residence in the Serie A relegation places for most of the season. The Robur have fought back from a six point deduction and clawed their way back into the reckoning. A ten point haul from a possible 15 means the Tuscans are now just four points from safety.

Juventus are sitting pretty atop the Serie A summit, but suffered a wobble last weekend with a 1-0 loss at AS Roma. Antonio Conte, who this week picked up the Coach of the Year award, will be keen to get back to winning ways and has no plans on doing his former employers a good turn. Victory will put the pressure back onto second-placed Napoli, who the league leaders visit next weekend in a potential decider for the title.

Siena's man of the moment is frontman Innocent Emeghara. The Swiss striker arrived on loan in the January transfer window and has hit the ground running with four goals in as many appearances. He will face the league's best defence in Turin, but Siena coach Beppe Iachini remains unfazed at the task facing him.

"We go with the objective of scoring a goal," he said. "Simply defending isn't enough. In midfield Juve are formidable - we need to be perfect when we have the ball and try to create something going forward."

He added: "We are facing a very strong opponent, but it would be a terrible mistake to go out there looking for a 0-0. We will play our game, just as we always do, trying to be attacking and pro-active."

Ironically, last season's corresponding fixture ended in a stalemate. Siena also held their hosts to an entertaining 3-3 draw back in 2010. Iachini has never beaten Juventus during his coaching tenure, but will be buoyed by the fact that he has managed to defeat Inter Milan and Lazio in a short space of time -albeit both games were at home.

The Bianconeri emerged from the Artemio Franchi with a 2-1 victory back in Week 7, their fourth straight victory in Tuscany.

Paolo De Ceglie is set to miss this game with a thigh injury. A fourth relapse of a troublesome hamstring injury has put paid to Simone Pepe's season. The midfielder has opted to go under the knife in a bid to cure the longstanding problem, which has limited him to just 20 minutes of action this season. Martin Caceres, Arturo Vidal and Mirko Vucinic are all expected to shake off knocks and take part. Meanwhile, Brazilian midfielder Angelo is the only absentee for the visitors.

Juventus injuries and suspensions

Out: Giorgio Chiellini, Paolo De Ceglie, Simone Pepe, Nicklas Bendtner (injured)

Siena injuries and suspensions

Out: Angelo (injured)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 24th February 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy) beIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (U.S) ESPN (UK)

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