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Juventus - Livorno

Livorno this weekend at home. Last week they hosted Milan at the Stadio Armando Picchi in Livorno, and a few things come to mind after having watched it. First off, Lucarelli canbe a pain in the ass. That evening in Livorno the 33 year old didn't disappoint his hometown fans. So he didn't score and the game ended 0-0, big deal. Thiago Silva needed to put in an outstanding effort just to keep him off the scorecard. Who would've guessed eh Gianfranco?

Secondly, the Stadio in Livorno has the worst pitch I've ever seen in my life. Dry, grass-less, and basically impossible for Clarence Seedorf to derive any motivation to hustle whatsoever. Who can't relate? Finally, the Olimpico isn't Armando's Wonderland and Juventus isn't the team with all the tamed Brazilians... just the injured ones. More preview after the jump.

Felipe Melo is out, Diego is out, and Tiago- he's Brazilian right? Close enough, he's out as well. Melo is suffering from some distortive trauma to the left ankle and Tiago is down with a bit of contracture to the left thigh picked up during our deserved tie against Bordeaux. Both are apparently sidelined for seven days which is great news considering our match next week is at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris against Genoa. Goosebumps.

Diego's high right thigh muscle strain, which was originally feared to keep him sidelined for several weeks, should only see him out of the squad for this weekend's match against Livorno. That means we should have him back close to full strength before we battle it out for the top spot against our Serie A "B" team, midweek on Thursday, September the 24th.

"I am feeling much better, and I will be back on the pitch very soon," Diego told Tuttosport."It was not the result we expected, but we know that it's not easy to win in the Champions League as the play is different," he added. "We are coming off the back of three wins in the league, but the competition in Europe increases. The point is not enough for our group, but there is still plenty of time to recover and move ahead."

Fabio's story is a little more serious compared with the last three. He suffered a first degree distortion to the long muscle of the left thigh which will see him out for two to three weeks during which physiotherapy and gradual training will be carried out. So far it doesn't seem likely he'll be available for Bayern Munich on the 30th. Somewhere out there Legrottaglie is smiling. If he's looking for a trip to Cape Town next year, here's his best shot.

Rounding off the infirmary report, Sissoko's still out while Del Piero, who was busy attending the presentation ceremony for the Davis Cup tennis play-off between Italy and Switzerland today in Genoa, shed some light on his recovery progress.

"I hope to be back in 7-10 days," ADP told Il Secolo XIX. "However, I feel better. We'll see how it goes at the start of next week. It's annoying to watch games like that against Bordeaux from the stands, because I want to live them as a protagonist."

For the line-up this weekend one would have to expect Giovinco to start as trequartista again. So far his performances have been positive as he's been steadily removing the rust with each passing moment. In attack rumour has it Amauri will be rested and Davide Trezeguet will got the nod to start up front alongside Vincenzo Iaquinta. For me it's a toss-up on who should be rested in favour of the Frenchman. Amauri'sinches away from his first goal and both him and Iaquinta have really been working overtime for us.

Speaking of Amauri, apparently we're planning on extending his contract past the 2012 mark to 2013 as well as increasing his salary by €500,000 a campaign. I've got no complaints here. After all you want to keep your World Cup heroes happy, right Alberto?

Ok back to the line-up against Livorno. Behind Giovinco you'll probably see Poulsen in the middle covering Felipe's spot flanked by Camoranesi and/or Marchisio. Claudio looked pretty tired against Bordeaux and I'd be surprised if he has enough in the tank for tomorrow's match. If he doesn't, Ciro might use Salihams in his place at left midfield, who's recently been training with the team, or use his abundance of healthy full-backs like De Ceglie in there instead.

In defense we've got Zebina/Grygera there at the back again finally, each could start ahead of Martin Caceres on the right, then we've got Chiellini and Legrottaglie in the middle with either Molinaro or Grosso starting on the left. In goal we have best goalkeeper in the world. 'Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years'. Basically, Ferrara has plenty of options to patch up the holes in our starting XI but he'll need to use some of his creativity intuitively according to Livorno's strengths and weaknesses to ensure we successfully pick up where we left off.

"I expect us to be ruthless and not to look at Livorno's place in the table. We should not miss out on the points. It happened last year sometimes too much," he added before reflecting on his side's injury crisis."I am not worried by the injuries, but I am looking at the positive aspects. The substitutes have always been ready when needed," Ferrara concluded.


Juventus' French forward David Trezeguet (C) celebrates with his teammates Felipe Melo (R) and Amauri after scoring against Lazio during their Italian Serie A football match on September 12, 2009 at Rome's Olympic stadium. Juventus won 2-0.