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Serie A Preview: Verona v Juventus

Verona will need to rediscover their imposing home league form if they are to halt Juventus’ relentless march towards the Serie A title.

Andrea Mandorlini’s charges have been one of the surprise packages in Italy’s top flight this term, and sit fifth in the table with 35 points from 22 matches.

A superb record at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi has been a significant factor in the club’s success, with eight of their 11 league victories this season coming on home soil.

However, Verona have been beaten in their two home fixtures since the turn of the year, going down 3-0 to Napoli and 3-1 to Roma.

Verona got back on track with a 2-1 triumph at Sassuolo last time out and will retain hope of springing a huge upset on Sunday.

Antonio Conte’s side are gunning for a third straight league title, and have shown no signs of loosening their grip on the championship.

Juve have dropped points on just three occasions this term, with their only league defeat coming at the hands of Fiorentina in October.

Since that game, the champions have won 13 out of 14 Serie A matches, the latest a comprehensive 3-1 home triumph over Inter last Sunday that saw Stephan Lichtsteiner, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal find the net.

Juve’s success is in no small part down to their attacking prowess. Strikers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente have combined to account for 20 of their team’s 54 goals, the highest tally in the league.

Nevertheless, Verona forward Luca Toni has warned his former club they are in for a fight on Sunday.

“We face them calmly. Beating Sassuolo interrupted a run of three defeats,” he told Il Giornale.

“We will go into the field as 11 lions to cause them problems.”

Juventus welcome back goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from suspension, but centre-back Andrea Barzagli is doubtful with a thigh muscle injury.

Fri 7 February, 2014
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