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Serie A Preview: Torino v Juventus

Juventus go into the 227th Turin derby on Sunday knowing that a win could secure them the Serie A title.

Should second-placed Napoli lose at Pescara 24 hours earlier, Antonio Conte’s men would be able to carve out an unassailable lead at the summit with victory.

And they will certainly be confident of doing so, having not lost to their fierce local rivals since 1995.

The reverse fixture in December ended in a 3-0 win for Juve, but they will be shorn of one of their goalscorers that day, Sebastian Giovinco, due to injury.

However, the reigning Italian champions go into the game having earned a win over Milan in their last outing and looking to stretch their unbeaten league run to nine.

Vice-captain Giorgio Chiellini is confident in Juventus’ ability to win the game, but is not expecting to be celebrating the title just yet.

“It’s an important game and we want to do well and win,” he told the club’s official website.
“I honestly don’t think Napoli will slip up. They have an important objective which is to consolidate second place as soon as they can, especially seeing as Milan could win all their games from now until the end of the season. With all due respect to Pescara, I don’t think Napoli will drop points.
“However, we mustn’t think about celebrating or pay attention to matters which are unrelated to the game. It’s important we stay alert.
“Looking back at this season’s first meeting, we had some problems in the first half against a very organised side. Besides, it’s a derby encounter and the form book goes out the window for these games.
“It would be madness to underestimate our opposition, but I don’t think any of us will be doing that. We mustn’t let up in our quest for the Scudetto. Yes, it’s near, but until you reach it there’s always hope for the chasing pack.”


Torino, meanwhile, face a battle at the other end of the table with the season nearing its conclusion, as they sit just two places above the relegation zone.

Giampiero Ventura’s men are seven points clear of 18th-placed Palermo, though they have not won a league game since their 1-0 victory over Lazio in March.

Matteo Brighi, who has not featured since that win, though he is set to return from injury on Sunday.

Perhaps surprisingly given the clubs’ fates this season, Torino’s top league scorer Rolando Bianchi has notched more goals than any of his Juventus counterparts.

The former Manchester City forward has hit the back of the net on 10 occasions in Serie A, while Mirko Vucinic leads the way for Juve with nine.
Fri 26 April, 2013
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