I don't know about you guys, but I've been waiting for a good, old fashioned Juventus beatdown. It's been awhile since we've seen one of those. Well, maybe not a long, long time. But it does seem like it's been a few weeks. Since the games come 72 hours after one another these days, it seems like a much longer period of time.
I'd like to change that. I'm sure you all would, too. Juventus completely throttling their opponents is fun — and not just from the fan perspective. It's fun to write about Juve destroying their opposition.
And what do you know — Roma's coming to town! How convenient!
Okay, so that might have been a little mean. Or maybe it wasn't. You can decide. Just don't hold it against me.
There's a general notion out there in the press and amongst the players that this is a pretty important game. I wouldn't disagree with that one bit, especially considering the gallons of gasoline — aka rambling in the press — a certain Roma manager has poured on the flames since he returned to the job. (Seriously, though. Does he ever find a microphone or opportunity to express his opinion in an interview that he doesn't like? Goodness.)
So, yeah. This is a big one. I'm not going to avoid it. Playing Roma is always an important game, no matter what time of the season it is being played. Let's just hope that Juventus left all that struggling and meh kind of performance back in Florence.
Away we go. AVANTI!
We're all familiar with the way Zeman plays his football — all offense, not much defense. It's only being magnified this season now that he's back in Italy's top flight. Combine his usual offense-only tactics and Roma being Roma, it's no wonder they're currently sitting in 10th. It's just the way that things have gone this season in Rome that pretty much sums up what currently separates the two clubs.
OptaAaron: 3- The number of times Juventus has scored 4 goals against Roma since they trounced us 4-0. #juveNews— Aaron Giambattista (@agiamba) September 27, 2012
Roma's goal differential this season: Minus-2. Seems about right.
Another good thing: 44 undefeated matches and counting. The quest for history continues.
Andrea Pirlo isn't being Andrea Pirlo. That's bad. Really bad. I'm not saying the #PirloBeard is responsible for the slump — and that's not because I love the facial hair/mane of hair combo. Pirlo looks gassed and I'm not the only person to recognize that. While I think he'll be fine in the long run, I wonder how he'll cope with it right now. Juve surely need to give him more time off, but looking at the schedule in the next month or two, it's not like there's a lot of clear opportunities to do so.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- The Pirlo Effect. Will he or won't he show up? I'm not talking about to Juventus Stadium, I mean whether or not he'll actually make an impact. His sub-par performance against Fiorentina was part of the pressing in the midfield, part that fact he's still searching for form. Things should be a less crowded in the midfield with Roma likely to roll with a 4-3-3, and hopefully that means Pirlo will be able to play back to the level we have all come to love.
- Whether or not Leo Bonucci plays. As we know, Bonucci played through a thigh injury against Fiorentina earlier in the week. He sported a pretty huge wrap in the second half and has trained away from the rest of the team leading up to the clash with Roma. If he can't go, then in steps Luca Marrone, the midfielder-turned-defender. And if that happens, I'd be totally okay with it. It wouldn't just allow Bonucci to rest and get healthy, but also give Marrone — who played damn well as a defender during the preseason — some much-needed game time.
- Which striker starts alongside Mirko Vucinic. One striker seems like a given to start, the other one is completely open for debate right now. Some are tipping Alessandro Matri to get a rare start, others are saying Fabio Quagliarella will keep his starting spot up top. Sebastian Giovinco is obviously in the mix as well. Basically nobody really knows who is starting with Vucinic against Roma.
- lol roma
My starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Marrone, Chiellini; Caceres, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Vucinic, Quagliarella
*Juventus probable XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Marrone, Chiellini; Caceres, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Matri, Vucinic
*Roma probable XI (4-3-3): Stekelenburg; Piris, Burdisso, Castan, Balzaretti; Bradley, De Rossi, Florenzi; Lamela, Osvaldao, Totti
* - Lifted straight from the GDS website because I felt like it.