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Serie A Preview: Juventus v Palermo

3 May 2013 19:51

Juventus can wrap up consecutive Serie A titles on Sunday if they manage at least a draw at home to relegation-threatened Palermo.

With four rounds remaining in Italy's top flight, Juventus top of the standings 11 points clear of second-placed Napoli, meaning a point would effectively wrap up the championship.

Juventus' goal difference is plus 46, far ahead of Napoli (plus 32), and Antonio Conte's team should be very confident against Palermo, despite the Sicilian club's good form.

Palermo have not lost in five Serie A fixtures as they attempt to avoid relegation, having beaten Roma, Sampdoria and Inter Milan to rise from second bottom on March 17 to just above the drop zone heading into this weekend's games.

Arturo Vidal will be key to Juventus' hopes on Sunday as the Chilean midfielder has scored four goals in his team's past three matches.

Vidal netted the opener in his team's last-gasp 2-0 victory away to Torino last week, cracking a stunning half-volley from outside the area into the bottom corner in the 86th minute, before Claudio Marchisio wrapped up the win in stoppage time.

The 25-year-old notched a penalty in Juventus' 1-0 triumph over AC Milan the week before, while he also scored both goals in the victory at Lazio on April 15.

Palermo stunned seventh-placed Inter last week thanks to Josip Ilicic's 10th-minute strike and Juventus should be wary of the Sicilians based on previous clashes in Turin.

The reigning Serie A champions have only won one of their past four home matches against Palermo, with that victory coming last season in their maiden clash at Juventus Stadium.

With 18th-placed Genoa likely to pick up points against bottom club Pescara this weekend, defeat for 17th-placed Palermo could see Giuseppe Sannino's side fall back into the relegation zone.

Palermo only lead Genoa on goal difference with both teams on 32 points, while 19th-placed Siena (30 points) still have a chance of staying in Serie A next season ahead of their trip to Catania on Sunday.

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Thursday 18 December

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 16 +27 39
2 15 +17 35
3 15 +9 26
4 15 +8 26
5 15 +7 26
6 15 +7 24
7 15 +6 24
8 15 +8 23
9 15 -2 21
10 15 -4 21
11 15 +2 20
12 15 -4 19
13 15 -8 17
14 15 -5 16
15 15 -7 14
16 15 -10 14
17 15 -8 13
18 16 -8 12
19 15 -17 8
20 15 -18 6

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