Juventus vs Genoa: Bianconeri aim to wrap up week on high note

higuain-dybala
www.beinsports.com

Juventus will be looking to wrap up a good week with a win as they welcome Genoa to Juventus Stadium on Sunday.

The Bianconeri put in a brilliant performance mid-week to book their spot in the Champions League semi-finals. What made their showing even more impressive is the fact that they successfully held Barcelona scoreless for 180 minutes. That includes 90 minutes at the Camp Nou after beating them thoroughly 3-0 in Turin in the first leg.

Next up is a date with a high-flying Monaco side. That surely will be a treat, as Les Rouges-et-Blancs have one of the highest-scoring attacks in Europe. Juventus, of course, have the toughest defense, with just two goals conceded in the Champions League. They were the only team to make it through the quarter-finals sans conceding a single goal, which again, considering they faced Barcelona, is an impressive feat in itself.

Many pundits now are finally starting to take the Bianconeri seriously as a contender for the Champions League this season. However, their tie with Monaco isn’t until next month, so for now, Massimiliano Allegri’s men have to focus on domestic affairs. They are well on their way to making it a sixth straight Scudetto, and are the only team yet to lose a league game on home turf.

As Juventus are flying, Genoa are struggling. The Genoa were once viewed as dark horses for a European football spot. Now, Ivan Juric’s side are struggling to break into the half of the table. Juric himself is back for a second spell after Andrea Mandorlini, his replacement, was sacked. And whilst the Croatian tactician was able to temporarily end the Grifone’s losing streak, he surely will face a tough task against Juventus.

Juventus will be definitely gunning for some revenge. The last time the two sides met, the Grifone shocked La Vecchia Signora by beating them 3-1. To date, Genoa are the only team to have beaten the Bianconeri twice under Allegri’s tenure in the league. In addition, Juventus have conceded only more than two goals in just one out of their last 138 league games. That was during the reverse fixture against Genoa this season.

Genoa, in theory, are in an interesting position – they theoretically could do a double over Juve. However, that’s highly unlikely, for obvious reasons. The Grifone have failed to win 15 out of their last 16 Serie A games. Juventus, meanwhile, have won their last 32 home ties at Juventus Stadium. They also have won eight out of their last 10 home games against Genoa across all competitions, and successfully recorded clean sheets in their past three home games against their upcoming opponents.

Although Gianluigi Buffon will reportedly miss out, whilst Miralem Pjanic sits out due to a ban, Juventus should be able to see the Grifone off without much fuss as they intend to complete part one of their desired Treble as quickly as possible. Roma still haven’t given up hope, but the Giallorossi are eight points behind. They will need to turn their attention towards trying to hold off Napoli in the race for second spot. Meanwhile, given that they are pretty much on course to retain the league title, it will be interesting to see if Allegri opts to rotate players, or decides to field his strongest starting XI for this upcoming match.

Michelle Bonsu

Freelance football journalist based in New York. Primarily support AC Milan as well as the Ghanaian and Italian NT’s, but you’ll find me watching the Bundesliga and Premier League as well–enjoy a good game, regardless of where it’s being played. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of my favourite players.