Juventus vs Udinese Preview
Red-hot Udinese travel to Turin to face Juventus looking to edge closer to the Champions League qualifying places.
It took a while for coach Francesco Guidolin and the Friuli men to find their rhythm this season but now they are riding a four-match unbeaten streak and go into the game at the Olympic stadium in eighth place – four points adrift of Lazio who are fourth.
Udinese go into this weekend’s game full of confidence on the back of a 3-1 triumph over Inter Milan last weekend.
That result followed their 4-2 victory at Genoa and their 4-4 draw against AC Milan earlier this year.
The recent success has fuelled hopes among Udinese’s passionate fans that they could finish in the top four come the end of the season and play in Europe’s elite club competition.
“The fans have a right to dream,” said Guidolin. “The important thing is that we don’t fall asleep and we continue to play in this manner.”
Their attacking record has been key to Udinese’s impressive form, with 13 goals scored in their last four league games.
Juve, meanwhile, look to make amends for their midweek 2-0 defeat to Roma that knocked them out of the Coppa Italia.
The result was a bitter blow for Juve fans, with the club having almost waved goodbye to any hopes of getting silverware this season.
The Bianconeri were eliminated from the Europa League competition before the winter break and last weekend’s goalless draw at Sampdoria dropped the Turin giants nine points behind Serie A leaders AC Milan.
“We are going through a difficult time but we must work hard and look ahead to the league, which is the only aim that remains for us,” said manager Luigi Del Neri, whose side lie sixth, two points clear of Udinese.
Juve, who are level on 35 points with Inter, strengthened their defensive line this week with the arrival of Andrea Barzagli from Wolfsburg.
Barzagli is expected to feature against Udinese but the hosts are still without injured striker Vincenzo Iaquinta.
source : http://www.espnstar.com/football/serie-a/news/detail/item572839/Juventus-vs-Udinese-Preview/