Juventus disappointed in Denmark, opening their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Copenhagen. Between that slip and amid the constant talk about Fernando Llorente being ignored by Antonio Conte, it hasn't been the easiest few days for Juve -- but that's hardly going to destabilize the champions. They have a relatively easy job this weekend against Hellas Verona, who, with all due respect, aren't a team that should create a lot of problems for the bianconeri.
Juve have seven points from three Serie A matches, beating Sampdoria away 1-0 before thrashing Lazio at home 4-1. Their only draw came in the last round, against Inter Milan in the Derby d'Italia. The bianconeri have started the season more or less as expected. Buying Carlos Tevez proved to be a very good piece of business, and Paul Pogba is showing more and more moments of brilliance. A small issue is the fact that Conte prefers every other striker to Llorente, who appears to be completely out of shape but that seems to be more of an issue for various papers in Italy, rather than for Conte himself. Of greater importance is the fact that Andrea Pirlo isn't his usual magnificent self this season.
Conte is likely to field almost the same team as he did in most of the games this season, with Mirko Vucinic keeping Tevez company in the attack. The only change will be in goal, with the Juve coach announcing that Marco Storari will be taking Gianluigi Buffon's place between the posts, due to the captain's fatigue.
Verona are likely thrilled with their season so far, having won two games, one of which against a direct rival in the relegation battle, Sassuolo. The other victory was a 2-1 win over AC Milan in the first round, played in front of a thrilled Verona crowd. Their only loss came against an in-form Roma, who put three goals past the newcomers. The gialloblu seem to have enough quality to stay away from relegation zone this season, but getting at least a point at the Juventus Stadium isn't easy, even for the best European teams.
Coach Andrea Mandorlini faces a few selection problems. It is doubtful whether Luca Toni, Martinho, captain Domenico Maietta and defender Michelangelo Albertazzi will be able to play, which only makes Verona's job even harder.
Juventus injuries and suspensions:
Simone Pepe, Martin Caceres (injuried)
Hellas Verona injuries and suspensions:
Luca Toni, Martinho, Domenico Maietta, Michelangelo Albertazzi, Daniele Ragatzu (in doubt)
Projected line ups
Juventus (3-5-2): Storari, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Vucinic, Tevez
Hellas Verona (4-3-3): Rafael, Cacciatore, Moras, Bianchetti, Agostini, Romulo, Jorginho, Hallfredson, Gomez, Cacia, Jankovic
Sunday, September 22 at 3:00 p.m. local / 9:00 ET
Juventus Stadium, Turin
Premium Calcio 2, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
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