So we've got the early game, and then goes the derby at night. No doubt almost every Juventino/a will be watching both matches given the potential point swings at the top of the table. Hopefully though our players won't be as interested in that result more then their own, or else chances are we won't be able to take advantage of an Inter loss or draw. To be honest last week's result was very kind to us, so against the blucerchiati we'll need to put together a stronger and much more assertive effort if we truly want to validate all of this talk I keep reading about and not quite seeing yet.
Giorgio Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio are back and ready to go. The two trained with the team for the whole of last week and on Thursday also played in the friendly against Chisola and are now available for Ranieri once again. After the test match two days ago David Trezeguet suffered a slight muscle strain. The attacker has not been called up as a precaution but will be back with the team on Monday. In all Ranieri called up 18 players: 1 Buffon, 3 Chiellini, 4 Mellberg, 8 Amauri, 10 Del Piero, 11 Nedved, 13 Manninger, 16 Camoranesi, 18 Poulsen, 19 Marchisio, 20 Giovinco, 21 Grygera, 27 Ekdal, 28 Molinaro, 30 Tiago, 32 Marchionni, 33 Legrottaglie, 41 Ariaudo.
After the important victory away to Catania, Sunday will see Juventus in an attempt to win at home against Sampdoria and hopefully cut down on the margin from the top. Sampdoria is no weakling and not withstanding having performed below expectations up to now it can count on the likes of Cassano and Pazzini to change things round. The bianconeri will try to get back to home victory after they managed to win away at the Massimino on Sunday.
Statistics favour Juventus. The bianconeri met Sampdoria a total of 112 times with 57 victories for the bianconeri, 33 draws and only 22 victories for Sampdoria . At home against the blucerchiati in the Serie A Juventus won 31 of the 51 matches played, drawing 16 and losing 4. The last Juventus victory dates back to the 2005/06 season: the 9th match of the first round on the 26th of October 2-0 ended in a 2-0 victory with goals scored by Trezeguet and Mutu. The most recent match at home against Samp on the 20th of January 2008 during the 2007/08 season ended in a 0-0 draw. The last Sampdoria victory dates back to the 2004/05 season when the team from Genova won 1-0.
Beginning from the injuries, Mr Ranieri spoke of Trezeguet: "Trezeguet suffered a slight muscle strain in the test match and so to avoid further complications I will not risk him during the match against Sampdoria. Chiellini is well and recovering".
What do you think of Sampdoria?
"Samp is a team that closes up the flanks, presses and stops you from advancing and they also have good forwards".
Who will you support in the Milan derby?
"I support Juventus. As I always say we must play our match. What the others do is up to them. We want to do well. We have 120 days ahead of us to know what the future holds in store. We have to work hard and then see what the outcome is at the end. We have to be ourselves to beat a strong team. I look at my task. I resolve my team’s problems not those of others".
How do you explain the fact that Sampdoria aren’t doing so well this year?
"There are championships when everything goes well and others not. Last year they changed coach and did well but this year it could also be due to injuries".
What about Hiddink as Chelsea coach? Does it scare you?
"At the moment I am not thinking of Chelsea but Samp. About Chelsea I’ll start thinking in 10 days time".
What about Cassano? What do you like in him?
"I know where you’re trying to get with this question. Pazzini is a good attacker and therefore in a duet with Cassano is a good couple and therefore we have to be careful".
...but he doesn’t seem to be the bad boy he used to be.
"I don’t know. If you see him at face level he seems to be doing well. He only got one yellow card".
Who is more likely to play between Tiago, Marchisio and Poulsen?
"Marchisio is coming back from a slight injury but I think they’re of the same level of condition so I’ll have to decide who is more in form".
In theory what outcome of the Milan derby would be better for you?
"I am practical and don’t go for theory. I won’t even watch the derby. I will try to win three points and then whatever the result, being a positive person I will try to interpret it in my favour.".
What are the players’ conditions?
"Apart from Chiellini, everybody is well. Mauro is doing fine. He only needs to recover his match practice and therefore the friendly on Tuesday did him well".
Nothing new in that little interview with the coach. His tactics might be questioned at times, but he's unbelievably always pure class slash super vague when it comes to tasty rumours. Speaking of nothing new though, another one of our players picked up a little knock during the weekly grind at Vinovo, so Trezeguet keeps his spot he's been warming on the bench for the last couple months a bit longer. Quickly though; What the fuck is going on at Vinovo? Is it just bad luck or has Ranieri been running his own Guantanamo Bay over there? Any day now I'm expecting Tiago to throw-in the towel and refuse to train for fear of ending his chances to play in Spain eventually. Then we'll charge him with desertion and trade him here to Canada.
Anyways like you guys saw, Chiellini and Camoranesi are back in the rotation and all I have to say about that is I hope they only see very, very, very, limited time. We're obvouisly a much better team with them playing but it's for that reason we shouldn't risk anything giving them a ton of minutes in this one- something we're guilty of doing with those two in the past. Expect a 4-4-2 formation (what else?) with the likes of:
Amauri Del Piero
Nedved Tiago Poulsen Marchionni
Molinaro Legrottaglie Mellberg Grygera
Expect a great performance from Amauri and ADP. Amauri becuase he's been looking very sharp as of late and training well this week, and Ale because he's expecting. You heard me, Mrs. Sonia Del Piero has got another bun in the oven and our captain is expecting to become a father for the second time. "We are very happy to pass on all our joy" his official website read. "Sonia is expecting a baby and our life will be giving us another important emotion after that which came with the birth of Tobias. We are happy to share our joy with all those who follow us and who love us. This is our only message prior to the event in respect of the privacy which we hold as a characteristic of our family life. With joy. Sonia and Alessandro".
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!