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Juventus v. Parma: Family Reunion

Finally, after weeks of boredom the championship resumes with its fair share of dealings. Speaking just in terms of this week’s opponents, Parma struck a four-player exchange deal with Genoa that includes half of the rights to forward Raffaele Palladino, building-up this Thursday’s match against the Gialloblu as a reunion of bad blood so to speak.

Aside from the already rich history of competition between these two clubs over the last two decades, including the famous 1995 UEFA Cup Final and a few memorable Coppa Italia encounters, this Thursday’s game will feature a Parma side that include a number of former Juventus players that will want to do very well; most notably Sebastian Giovinco.

Seba is a very hot topic within the Juventus fan base. He was born and raised in Torino and at the age of nine joined our primavera and from then on he was heavily touted as the heir to Del Piero’s thrown. Fast forward to his recall from Empoli in 2008 however, and his Bianconero train came off the tracks.

Giovinco said, at his unveiling by Parma: "I have arrived with the right spirit that a professional should always have. I am happy to be part of this team and this company, after the bad year that I spent at Juve. I want to redeem myself and show what I am worth."

Since on loan to Parma, who has the right to buy half his rights at the end of the year, Sebastian’s received little reviews (no pun intended) as he’s been battling injuries and has only played seven games for them thus far. Nevertheless we shouldn’t see that as any form of comfort. Sebastian has had this day circled on his calendar for months now and many hope he’ll bring his best, myself included.

Alongside Giovinco, there’s also Antonio Candreva who played for half a season with Juventus last year until we opted not to sign half his rights from his parent club Udinese. Now, while Candreva didn’t make an impression big enough to convince us of his price tag, he certainly didn’t disappoint. While playing a friendly in Toronto last year on Juventus’ North American tour, he was ten times more effective than Amauri, which doesn’t say much, but it should -- especially with regards to Brazilian’s price tag.

Speaking of Amauri, following his sixty minute performance in a friendly against Lucento earlier this week, he’ll share the striking duty with Del Piero alongside Quagliarella. In midfield, Melo and Aquilani will start, flanked by Pepe and Marchisio; as Krasic is suffering some back pain and Giandonato is suspended. In defence, Del Neri has the following players to call on: Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Sorensen, Traore, Grosso, Motta and Grygera.

Rounding out the line-up we have our goaltenders. Del Neri has said publicly that Marco Storari will once again start between the posts for Juventus for at least another week. While Buffon continues to clear the cobwebs in preparation for his return in the Coppa Italia (Jan 13th vs. Catania), there’s no reason to rush him back as Storari is more than capable.

Below you’ll find the photos from the 5-0 exhibition against Lucento. Apparently Melo ran the show and netted twice so we’ll see how he plays tomorrow. Since the game is at 12:30pm local time, people in my time zone will have to wake up six hours earlier. Check the comments section below for updates and streams before the game. Also here's's latest that almost didn't make the cut lol (kidding).

Get the flash player here: