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Serie A Preview: Juventus v Livorno

5 April 2014 14:52

Juventus will battle injuries and fatigue but still should be too strong for struggling Livorno on Monday.

Juve are well placed to win their third successive Serie A title, sitting eight points clear of second-placed Roma with seven matches to play.

They lost just their second league match of the season last week, slipping up 2-0 at Napoli - a result that ended a 22-match unbeaten streak in Serie A.

Antonio Conte's men are currently trying to negotiate their way through a tricky period, with the club's UEFA Europa League commitments often seeing them play three times a week, and their packed fixture list has led to several injury problems.

Striker Carlos Tevez - the leading scorer in Serie A - is Juve's latest concern after he asked to be substituted with thigh pain in the club's 1-0 win at Lyon in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.

Tevez is likely to miss this match as a result, while star midfielder Arturo Vidal is suspended.

Defensive duo Andrea Barzagli (calf) and Angelo Ogbonna (thigh) are both in doubt for the champions, who will also be without Simone Pepe due to a thigh problem.

The injury problems have seen some of the club's squad players given regular game time, one of whom, Martin Caceres, has impressed greatly.

Caceres has replaced Barzagli with aplomb at the heart of Juve's defence and was particularly solid in the club's win at Lyon.

Fellow defender Leonardo Bonucci - who scored late on in France - has singled out Caceres for special praise.

"He's a permanent fixture for Uruguay and the only thing that's kept him out of the side is Barzagli's magnificent form," Bonucci told Juventus' official website.

"He's showed he has what it takes to play for Juve.

"He's a superb man-marker, very good at beating his man to the ball. He's perfectly at ease slotting into this back three."

Juve will be expected to bounce back from their loss in Naples, but the 18th-placed Livorno will hope they are tired after their latest European exertions.

Livorno - who have never played at Juventus Stadium - moved to within a point of safety after they came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw against Inter last time out.

Domenico Di Carlo's side trailed by two goals at the break but produced an excellent comeback as goals from Paulinho and Innocent Emeghara saw them claim a point.

Di Carlo was delighted with the fight his side showed and will hope for a similar showing against another of the heavyweights of Italian football.

History is not on their side though - Juve have won six of the last seven meetings between the two sides.

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Monday 24 November

Sunday 23 November

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +24 31
2 12 +14 28
3 12 +8 22
4 12 +6 21
5 12 +5 19

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