Chievo Verona vs Juventus, preview: Bianconeri must win to stay close to the top

Dino Panato

After emerging victorious against Hellas at the weekend, another Veronese team is on the menu for Juve, but it won't be easy to beat hard-working Chievo on their soil.

Juventus defeated Hellas Verona on Sunday and are now looking to repeat that against neighbors Chievo. It is expected to be a similar game in that the Flying Donkeys will most likely retreat to their own half and let Juve attack, hoping to survive and maybe -- maybe -- hit back on counterattacks.

That Fernando Llorente "controversy" that filled newspapers columns in Italy before the Verona game has now been replaced by Andrea Pirlo's supposed unhappiness with Antonio Conte. Pirlo was subbed at 66th minute of the game against Verona, going straight for the changing rooms rather than joining his teammates on the bench, prompting the Italian press to speculate about bad relations between the legendary playmaker and the Juventus coach. It seems unlikely, however, that such a rift, if it even exists, is so serious that it could spoil Juve's plans -- for the match, or for the season.

Antonio Conte will have almost all his players at his disposal, lacking only Simone Pepe and Martin Caceres, both out with long-term injury, and third choice goalkeeper Rubinho. The Old Lady will likely make two or three changes from Sunday's starting XI. Gianluigi Buffon will return in goal, while Giorgio Chiellini will join Andrea Bonucci and Angelo Ogbonna in Juve's defense. Mirko Vucinic is also expected to start in place of Llorente as the forward works toward full fitness. The biggest news is Claudio Marchisio's return to the starting XI, allowing Arturo Vidal the opportunity to rest.

Chievo recorded their first win of theeason on Saturday, defeating Udinese 2-1. However, Giuseppe Sannino reportedly will leave Sergio Pellissier on the bench for this match, despite scoring at the weekend, and despite his tendency to trouble the bianconeri. Instead, Frenchman Cyril Thereau is expected to partner Alberto Paloschi in the attack. There is some doubt over who will start on the left wing: young Riccardo Improta or ex-Juventino Marcelo Estigarribia.

Chievo Verona injuries and suspensions

Dainelli, Kupisz (injuries), Guana (out of squad due to discipline issues)

Juventus injuries and suspensions

Pepe, Caceres, Rubinho (injuries)

Projected line ups

Chievo Verona (4-4-2): Puggioni, Papp, Cesar, Drame; Hetemaj, Radovanovic, L. Rigoni, Estigarribia; Paloschi, Thereau

Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon, Ogbonna, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio; Vucinic, Tevez

Match date/time

Wednesday September 25 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue

Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona

TV

BT Sport 2 (UK), Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)

Online

beIN Sport Play

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