One of the biggest rivalries in the 1990s was Juventus v. Parma. Those were the days where Parma, on "financial doping" were challenging for the Uefa Cup and the Scudetto. The rivalry continued in the early 2000s, with and during this decade-long glory era, the team had champions like Cannavaro, Mutu, Thuram, Buffon, Adriano, Gilardino, Crespo, Dino Baggio, and Frey. Towards the mid-2000s, it became less of a rivalry as due to financial cheating, Parmalat could no longer invest in the club and it was sold to Ghirardi, the prosciutto king. The teams objective shifted to battling relegation, just before signing with Juventus, Ranieri successfully saved the team. The next season was the end of Parma, as it limped to a 19th place. The team that had once defeated Juve in the Uefa Cup final and finished 2nd in the league table behind us, had conceded the game before it had started, and Tiago, of all people, scored on Parma (sort of) to make it 3-0. But Parma has had a revival, and having returned from Serie B, are currently are enjoying a splendid season, as this game will be a head-to-head battle for 3rd place. Palermo fans must wonder what might have been if Guidolin had stayed, as he has replicated his miracle with the Rosaneri over at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
Buffon- The only team Gigi has ever played for other than us, is Parma. He was brought to Juventus in 2001 along with Thuram. Gigi has said he's sad he won't be able to play against Parma, as he wished to see his old stadium and the fans, who likely would have given him a warm welcome.
The Other Guy- Cannavaro also enjoyed a very long successful tenure of 7 years at Parma, before joining Inter for two seasons. I was trying to think of other players on the side who might have been at Parma, but I couldn't. And maybe that's a problem, Juve champion players (and ex-champions) like Camoranesi, Buffon, Nedved, Mutu, Thuram, Emerson, were all signed from various Serie A clubs having excelled. Anytime you sign someone from abroad, you're rolling the dice, and we should focus more on signing young Serie A champions, even if they cost more.
The Juventus Parma Offense- Paloschi is a young star, but may not play tomorrow due to injury. They may line up a team of ex's- Bojinov, Lanzafame, and Nicola Amoruso who are all proving themselves at the Ducali despite many questions over the players abilities.
The Juve-Parma Goalkeeper Connection: If not for his injury, ex-Parma player Gigi Buffon would be in our net. Juventus youth product Antonio Mirante, on loan from Juve and Sampdoria, has been starting all season for Parma and has done very well.
Since Parma spent the last year in Serie B, we've only played each other three out of the last five seasons. Last game we hammered them, with coach Cuper having thrown in the towel before the whistle was blown. (Sounds familiar, eh Hector?) Goals from Palladino, a freak own goal assisted by Tiago, and the shittiest goal ever from Trezeguet ensured a victory. Before that, super-Iaquinta blasted in two goals, being denied a hattrick wrongfully (twice) by the referee at Parma following a fightback from 2-0 on the day that Gabriele Sandri was killed by a policeman.
Juventus: shit- (LLLWL) I don't think I need to explain this to anyone here.
Parma: decent- (LWDDW) While they've cooled off a bit from their opening season rally, the team is still playing fairly well and a crap game against Roma is the only black spot.
FORMATIONS AND LINEUPS:
Juventus: Out with injury are Buffon, Camoranesi, Iaquinta. Sissoko is with Mali at the African Cup of Nations, in his personal bid to play less than 10 games this season. Cannavaro is suspended, though Chiellini should be recovered to play, meaning a likely backline of Caceres-Legrottaglie-Chiellini-Grosso, which doesn't sound half bad, as long as Giorgio is in form. The midfield is the big question, as it appears Ferrara is prepared to scrap the rombo for a standard 4-4-2, or 4-4-1-1 depending on who you ask. In an interview, Ranieri stated that if he was still coaching Juve, he'd have the same problems as Ferrara, suggesting as I believe the problem lies in the mercato and the years required to shift a squad to a new formation. So is this a return to the familiar? Or is this simply a bid to get points before going back to the rombo?
Two requests for Ferrara: Please play Giovinco, and please don't play Amauri. Personally, if we're going 4-4-2, I'd go with De Ceglie and Giovinco on the wings, or substitute Salihamidzic for Gio and put Gio at seconda punta. I'm ambivalent on Del Piero starting, who hasn't looked fit yet, though if it's a question of ADP v. Amauri, there is no debate in my mind. Rumors have stated that De Ceglie and Giovinco may be snubbed for Marchisio to play at left-mid as he did when he tore Genoa apart, but this would be misguided as we need his quality in center-midfield. Assuming we do switch formations, below is my preferred one and then what I predict.
My XI: (4-4-2) Manninger; Caceres, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Grosso; Giovinco, Marchisio, Poulsen, De Ceglie; ADP, Trez
As you can see, this leaves no room for Diego, though it is suggested he might be moving up forward as a striker.
Predicted XI: (4-4-1-1) Manninger; Caceres, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Grosso; Salihamidzic, Marchisio, Felipe Melo, De Ceglie; Diego; Trez
Parma: Unfortunately, the Parma Offside blog briefly restarted this summer, only to die even before the season started. Such is the life of unpaid blogging. Anyways, Parma has a great squad built with young stars, like Paloschi, Lanzafame, Mirante, Bojinov, Dzemali, Galloppa, mixed with experienced veterans who still have some left in the tank, like Panucci and Amoruso.
Predicted XI: (4-3-3) Mirante; Zaccardo, Dellafiore, Panucci, Castellini; Dzemaili, Morrone, Galloppa; Lanzafame, Amoruso, Bojinov
Not a bad lineup there.
KEY PLAYER TO WATCH:
Alessandro Del Piero- I'm getting the feeling he's ready to start out 2010 on the right foot. We've missed him a lot over the last 4 months.
Daniele Galloppa- He's wicked talented and showing it, having left the black hole of talent known as Siena, and he's an Interista.
FERRARA'S PRESS CONFERENCE:
Ferrara: «Now we need the facts»
Juventus will be starting its 2010 in Parma, against a team which has proved to be the revelation of the championship, in a match in which the bianconeri must react to the recent difficulties. Ferrara did not hide this and during the pres conference analyzed his moment and that of the team, from various points of view:
«When results go missing, the confidence in one’s own means also goes missing: I don’t think there was fear but it is normal that a certain insecurity in certain moves was present and in such a situation it is not easy. We must try to block out the external context and try not to be conditioned».
Change of formation
«We hope to see a different Juventus compared to the one of the recent matches. During the week we tried a few different tactical attitudes and we will see if it will be the case of changing. It is mostly however, the final result that must change».
The faith of the club
«The club has supported me not withstanding the negative results and it is normal that the management looks at the coach’s work. I feel that they have faith ine me and I must try to change the results. I never had the feeling that there was a sort of ultimatum on faith in me. I am mature enough to understand that the work of a coach is judged according to results».
«It is the only name that emerged but I ma not conditioned by this. I am tranquil and trying to do my work with professionalism and honesty».
The relationship with the players
«I found motivated players, a team with the will to change course and to return to the results that this club deserves. Melo? I spoke to him even though there was nothing to clarify. We are working towards the same objective and being the coach, in certain circumstances I must take decisions which regard even important players like him. Surely he could not have been happy after the substitution against Catania but he sat on the bench behaving like a great professional. From what I read recently it seems to me that some people are actually to create a rivalry between the coach and certain players. I also read of a quarrel between Del Piero and Diego…A contract of play could have happened but there was no quarrel. I would like the right things to be written».
The transfer market
«When it comes to defenders I am not expecting any signings, because we have eight; in midfield there could be if Tiago were to leave»
«I have great respect for all the opponents and there is no match in which I am tranquil. We are going to play against a team which is doing well, which is close to us in the table and which deserves this because of the way they played and the enthusiasm shown. I expect a difficult match».
The atmosphere around the team
«Do not think I sense a bad atmosphere around me. It is not very nice but I am tranquil and conscious that I have to give the best of me with maximum professionalism. I do not care about those who are shooting at me at this moment. When there are chants against players or the team, the disappointment is even mine. We all feel involved, each with his own responsibility. In this situation who can be happy? Nobody and that includes the undersigned».
«We still have many ahead of us. We must try to achieve them, getting back to the enthusiasm we had at the start of the season. We are working towards a winning and ambitious team and now we need the facts».
If the team plays for the coach?
«It would not be right to give something extra for the coach. The players must play for the jersey they wear and doing so, obviously, they will also be guarding my interests. One must always give a bit more, independently of who is sitting on the bench. I think that it is part of the professionalism of every player to behave like this».
C'E UNA STELLA IN CIELO CHE INDICA IL CAMMINO, FORZA JUVE, VINCERE E' IL TUO DESTINO