Juventus takes on Genoa in a Monday Serie A fixture knowing it can close the gap on Napoli at the top of the table.

By 90Min
January 22, 2018

Title chasing Juventus welcome Genoa to the Allianz Stadium on Monday night, as they look to put the pressure back on Napoli at the top of Serie A.

The Old Lady trail Gli Azzurri by four points after their 1-0 win over Atalanta on Sunday, despite the Bianconeri winning 16 out of their 20 Serie A games this season.

Massimiliano Allegri's side will be full of confidence, having conceded only once in their last 11 games in all competitions, in a run that stretches back to their last league defeat against Sampdoria.

Genoa are nervously looking over their shoulders towards the drop zone, but do have a five point cushion over Spal as it stands. The Rossoblu's struggles stem mainly from their difficulties in front of goal, having netted only 16 times over the course of the season.

The visitors head into this one on a decent run of form though, having turned their early season struggles around. They have lost just twice in their last 10 games, including a 2-0 home defeat to Juventus in the Italian Cup just before Christmas.

The Bianconeri will be overwhelming favourites to win despite a catalogue of injuries, having lost just three times in 28 encounters against the visitors. The pressure is building as Napoli's imperious run of form shows no signs of slowing up, with Juventus' six-year stranglehold on Serie A now in serious jeopardy.


Classic Encounter

These two sides contested a fiery encounter when they clashed at the Stadio Olimpico back in February 2010.

The game was littered with disciplinary problems, with nine yellow cards handed out between the sides as tempered boil over in a tempestuous affair.

The visitors struck an early blow, as Marco Rossi's first-half effort gave Genoa a shock lead. The scores were levelled just before half-time through Amauri, with the Italian international subsequently booked for his over exuberant celebrations.

The home side took the lead just past the hour mark through Alessandro Del Piero, though their joy was short lived as Rossi struck again to bring the scores level.

The deciding moment came just over ten minutes from time, as Juve were awarded a controversial penalty. Del Piero stepped up and duly converted the spot kick, sending the Old Lady faithful home happy with a 3-2 success.


Key Battle

Gonzalo Higuain vs. Nicolas Spolli

The Old Lady will look to marksman Gonzalo Higuain for the goals to keep them in touch with at the top of the table, with the Argentine having netted nine times so far this season.

The 30-year old has failed to replicate his form of recent seasons, with much of the limelight shifting towards rising star Paulo Dybala over the course of the campaign. Dybala misses this one with through injury, leaving Higuain as Juve's main threat.

Looking to keep him in check will be Nicolas Spolli. The 34-year old experienced central defender has featured prominently during Genoa's recent upturn in form, shoring things up at the back and making the Rossoblu harder to break down.

The former Newell's and Catania defender will be eager to keep Higuain quiet, and provide a stable defensive platform for his team-mates to work around.


Team News

Both sides will come into this one refreshed after a two-week domestic break, though Juventus do have multiple injury problems to contend with.

The Old Lady will be missing key man Paulo Dybala, as well as the influential Gigi Buffon in goal. Former Arsenal and Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will continue to deputise in his absence. 

Claudio Marchisio, Benedikt Howedes and Juan Cuadrado also miss out through injury, though long-term absentee Mattia de Sciglio is back in the squad, and may reclaim the starting role at right-back.

Genoa boss Davide Ballardini has no major injury concerns, though will be missing Ervin Zukanovic through suspension. Santiago Gentiletti is expected to come into the side, as Genoa look to preserve their recent impressive defensive record.

Paolo Rattini/GettyImages

Striker Giuseppe Rossi has been struggling with a niggling bicep injury over the past couple of weeks, but is expected to make the matchday squad.

Predicted Juventus Lineup: Szczesny, de Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi, Douglas Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic

Predicted Genoa Lineup: Perin, Rossettini, Spolli, Gentiletti; Biraschi, L Rigoni, Brlek, Bertolacci, Laxalt; Pandev, Lapadula


Prediction

Juventus are heavy favorites and will look to tie up their seventh consecutive win in all competitions with a ruthless performance. Despite their mounting injuries, the Old Lady still possess a lethal attacking line, that has yielded 49 goals in their 20 Serie A games so far.

Genoa are likely to set their stall out to contain the Bianconeri, with Mattia Perin bracing himself for a busy evening under the lights. The Rossoblu will take heart from their recent performances in the league, but have an awful record against Juve over the course of history.

Monday's encounter will not be a walk in the past for the hosts, but Juve are likely to have far too much firepower for the visitors to resist.

Prediction: Juventus 3-0 Genoa

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