Serie A champs Juventus begin long march to success
Published : 15 Sep 2012 08:17:25
Ambitious Serie A champions Juventus will be looking to maintain their 100 percent start to the season in an away match at Genoa which is the first of an impressive run of seven in 23 days.
Antonio Conte's side is aiming for four trophies this season and while recently acquiring Denmark international Nicklas Bendtner, the "Old Lady of Turin" has eyes for a striker with arguably more to offer.
Juventus's trip to Genoa will be short, but next week they travel to Chelsea and then face Cheivo, Fiorentina and Roma before hosting Shakhtar in Europe and then league minnows Siena in early October.
It is no wonder the club's director general, Beppe Moratto, is intent on bolstering a squad some observers feel has a real chance in Europe this season.
"If there's one Italian side that can excel in the Champions League this season it's Juventus," Gianluca Vialli, who won the trophy with Juve and also played with their group rivals Chelsea, told Tuttosport in midweek.
Spain international Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao remains Juve's main target, especially as Fiorentina have included an "anti-Juve" clause in the contract of their Montenegrin international Stevan Jovetic.
Moratta said: "He (Jovetic) could be a very useful player for us, but it will be up to Fiorentina to decide his future."
Whether Bendtner will get a chance for Juventus soon remains to be seen, although Moratta says the former Arsenal man has impressed Conte in training.
"The first judgment of Conte is very positive," he added.
Juventus are one of only four teams -- along with Napoli, Lazio and Sampdoria -- to have won their first two games of the season.
It means the other title favourites, AC Milan and Inter, need three points this weekend if they are to keep the pressure on the Turin giants.
Milan will be hoping striker Giampaolo Pazzini, who scored a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Bologna a fortnight ago, shakes off a knock he received in training Thursday.
If Pazzini is given the all-clear, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri could decide to give new signing Bojan Krcic, the Spanish international who arrived from Barcelona, a run-out with the Italy international.
A fitness test on Friday should determine whether Allegri decides to risk Pazzini three days ahead of Milan's Champions League group stage opener against Anderlecht.
Milan are already missing Robinho, Alexandre Pato, Riccardo Montolivo and Ignazio Abate but the good news is that midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng is set to play with a newly-fitted arm brace following surgery on a fractured hand bone last week.
San Siro rivals Inter make the short trip to Torino looking to make up for their stunning home defeat to a Francecso Totti-inspired Roma two weeks ago.
Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni, however, could will be without Rodrigo Palacio after he picked up a knock playing for Argentina in midweek.
Antonio Cassano, who scored Inter's goal in the 3-1 reverse to Roma, is expected to play in support of Argentinian striker Diego Milito with Dutchman Wesley Sneijder providing the service to the attacking duo.
Roma, who sit fifth, host Bologna at the Olympic Stadium looking to replicate the performance which humbled Inter two weeks ago.
Bologna are one of seven teams, the others being Cagliari, Udinese, Palermo, Pescara, Atalanta and Siena, who have yet to win.
Napoli and Lazio will be expected to maintain their perfect start with games respectively against Parma and Chievo.
Fixtures (all 1300 GMT unless stated)
Palermo v Cagliari (1600), AC Milan v Atalanta (1745)
Chievo v Lazio (1030), Napoli v Parma, Genoa v Juventus, Pescara v Sampdoria, Roma v Bologna, Fiorentina v Catania, Siena v Udinese, Torino v Inter(1845)