How Juventus Will Line Up Against AS Roma

Adam DigbyFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

How Juventus Will Line Up Against AS Roma

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    When they went head-to-head back in January, it was set up as a decisive fixture that would show just how far AS Roma has come under Rudi Garcia.

    Despite the Bianconeri recording an emphatic 3-0 victory, the match actually taught us very little about either team.

    Since that heavy loss, the Giallorossi have maintained their previous excellent form and pushed the Turin giants harder than any other side has in the Antonio Conte era. The reigning champions preserved a gap which finally became insurmountable last week, the capital club's loss to Catania meaning they could no longer hope to catch La Madama.

    With her third consecutive title already wrapped up, this clash between Serie A's two best teams will carry none of the weight of that first meeting. However, Juve are still expected to field a much stronger line-up than the one which defeated Atalanta last week.

    Over the following pages are the names expected to be in the starting XI when the champions take the field against the runners-up on Sunday evening.

Goalkeeper

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    Having looked on as Gigi Buffon enjoyed another incredible season, Marco Storari is once again expected to start between the posts for Antonio Conte.

    The former Milan man made his sixth start of the campaign last week, having largely filled in for Coppa Italia games and when the captain was suspended in late January and early February.

    Storari was also part of the team eliminated from the cup by Roma, and the 37-year-old will hope to make amends after being beaten by Gervinho's near-post flick.

    It is unlikely that the match will see an appearance for third-choice stopper Rubinho, who may have to wait until next week's final game for his first action of the campaign.

Defence

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    After running out Angelo Ogbonna in the central role last week, Conte is expected to entrust his regular back three in this fixture.

    Their excellent form is the basis for the club's success, and the names of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are now well established as one of Europe's most formidable defences.

    Interestingly, the two sides will head into this game with identical defensive records, each having conceded 23 league goals in 2013-14.

Midfield

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    Despite the heroics of Simone Padoin last week, the Bianconeri are widely expected to return him to a spot on the bench, instead opting to field their five regular starters in midfield.

    Rotation in the wide roles should see Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner return, their balance vital to spreading the field for Juventus.

    Between them, Conte is tipped to select Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba, with his options limited by the decision to send Arturo Vidal to Barcelona for surgery.

    According to the club’s official website, the Chilean underwent a successful operation on his right knee on Wednesday.

Attack

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    Again Juventus, having fielded Sebastian Giovinco and Daniel Osvaldo on Monday, are tipped to start their regular pairing up front.

    The performances of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente in their debut Serie A campaigns has been excellent, the duo sharing no fewer than 38 goals between them in 2013-14.

    With them firing from the opening day next term, the Bianconeri will hope to enjoy a much more successful Champions League adventure when next season begins.