Last week, Juventus went to Hellas Verona, grabbed a 2-0 lead and proceeded to watch (almost literally) as Verona grabbed a late equalizer, re-establishing their dominance at the Bentegodi.
This match may feature another side with "Verona" in their name, but that's where the resemblance ends. Chievo Verona, the lesser team in town, are currently 17th, just a point above the relegation zone. While their counterparts Hellas are willing to go all out in pursuit of points, the Flying Donkeys will celebrate should they hold Juventus to a goalless draw. While Chievo had shown a few flickers of attacking football this season, the name of the game is survival. Smart, perhaps, but it makes for some rather dull football.
And it's likely not to work, anyway. Juventus have dropped points just three times this season, and twice they were undone by sides bent on attacking: the loss to Fiorentina and last week's comeback by Hellas. Against Lazio, a defensively minded squad, the 10-man bianconeri came back to equalize.
Sitting back and waiting for the chance to break? Closing ranks, parking the bus, betting on a point? Neither works against the Old Lady. Chievo should throw caution to the wind, attacking from the start. They've managed it a couple times this season, often with decent results (see last month's draw against Napoli).
But of course, they won't. And we all will suffer more for it. Thanks, Eugenio Corini.
Juventus Injuries and Suspensions
Chievo Injuries and Suspensions
Chievo Verona: Christian Puggio; Alessandro Bernardini, Michele Canini, Nicolas Frey; Boukary Dramé, Perparim Hetemaj, Ivan Radovanović, Simone Bentivoglio, Gennaro Sardo; Cyril Théréau, Adrian Stoian
Match Date / Time
Sunday, February 16 at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET
Juventus Stadium, Turin
TV: Premium Calcio 1, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy); BeIN Sports (USA), RAI Internazionale (USA and Canada)
Online: BeIN Sports Play (USA and Canada); bet365