Top plays bottom in Serie A on Sunday
when unbeaten Juventus face an almost relegated Cesena side who
are hoping striker Adrian Mutu can continue his midweek form by
stunning his former employers.
Juve, Italy's most successful club, beat Lazio 2-1 on
Wednesday to go a point clear of AC Milan with six games
remaining as the Turin outfit seek a first scudetto since their
2006 match-fixing demotion.
That traumatic event also led Juve to let Romanian Mutu join
Fiorentina despite a decent season with the Bianconeri and his
career has taken a turn for the worse since.
Disciplinary and doping problems meant he left Florence for
Cesena last June but his eight goals, including a superb strike
in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Genoa, have not stopped The Seahorses
occupying last place, 15 points from safety.
They will go down on Sunday if they lose at home to Juve and
surprise strugglers Genoa get at least a point at Milan on
Saturday but coach Mario Beretta is banking on former Chelsea
"He had a great game [against Genoa], enhanced by the goal,"
Beretta told reporters.
Juve look set to be without centre-back Leonardo Bonucci
because of a broken nose as the defence try to shackle Mutu but
the sight of the Romanian will remind Antonio Conte's team how
far they have come since the dark days of 2006.
Few Juve fans expected a full-on assault on the Serie A
title this term after two seasons of woe but the arrival of
hard-nosed former midfielder Conte as coach and the patchy form
of other sides has opened the door to a scudetto challenge.
To everyone's surprise, they are unbeaten in the league and
are flying high thanks in part to midfielder Andrea Pirlo
rediscovering the form he showed in his best years at Milan.
Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini knows a sixth straight win
is not a foregone conclusion at Cesena.
"We'll play on a synthetic pitch against a team which will
have the chance to write an important page of their history,
seeing that we're unbeaten. Therefore we must pay the utmost
attention," he said.
Champions Milan come up against a Genoa side who had
ambitions of Europe in August but now lie two points above the
drop zone despite boasting ex-Milan striker Alberto Gilardino.
Milan forward Antonio Cassano will again hope for a run out
as he gets back to full fitness after five months out following
a heart problem, with a spot in Italy's Euro 2012 squad in mind.
A number of injuries could give Cassano his chance.
City rivals Inter Milan, in seventh, are suddenly back in
the picture for a Champions League play-off berth after
Wednesday's 2-1 win over Siena put them six points behind
Andrea Stramaccioni's side have won two and drawn one since
the former youth coach took over from Claudio Ranieri and Inter
next visit fourth-placed Udinese on Saturday.
Lazio travel to second-bottom Novara on Sunday while AS Roma
in fifth host struggling Fiorentina and sixth-placed Napoli, in
awful form, go to third-bottom Lecce.
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010