Bologna welcome Juventus Sunday afternoon for what will be a very interesting match. A lot of people are expected in the stands, and given Bologna’s performances against the stronger sides this season, a positive result is definitely achievable.
The loss against Milan last round was disappointing, as a draw was definitely achievable. Yet again, Bologna conceded because of errors in defence, this time because of a lapse in concentration by Torosidis. These kinds of errors can not happen against Juventus. If the team work hard as a unit, deny space for Juventus in Bologna’s half, and take good care of their chances on the counter, this game is definitely one where Bologna can avoid a defeat. Roberto Donadoni talked about the need to not dwell on the result against Milan, saying:
The anger after the Milan game has to be used in a way tomorrow which can make the difference.
The coach then added:
You can’t just play thinking of limiting the opponent. The idea has to be pro-active and to do well at creating chances.
The result against Milan was disappointing for the players, especially considering that
a draw was achievable, and a late conceded goal always hurts. But, to dwell on that would not be smart, as it could hurt the team going into another tough game. As for Juventus’ quality, if they were to go into this game afraid of the opponent, that would not end well. We’ve seen time and time again this season that the team is up for it when facing a stronger team, so I’m expecting a strong performance today.
Donadoni also touched upon last season, saying:
We’re not thinking about matches from last season. For me, this type of match gives a lot of motivation. We can’t be intimidated, we have to focus on ourselves.
To focus on the games against Juventus last season would make this game even harder, as the focus on losses would be damaging for the moral of the team. All focus should be on how the team should play, to be aggressive in defence, and ruthless going forward.
Ibrahima M’baye is back in training after his short stint on the sidelines, but whether he’ll start is still uncertain. If there is any doubt about his level of fitness, he should be rested for this one. The same is true of Rodrigo Palacio, as he too has been struggling with an injury. Andrea Poli is back from his suspension, and he is expected to come back into the line-up. Donadoni touched upon the possible inclusion of Okwonkwo, saying:
Orji Okwonkwo is continuing to grow and become more consistent. When he has a chance from the first minute, he needs to grasp it in the right way.
It will be very interesting to see which player Donadoni chooses for the left hand side of
the attack. If Palacio is out, it will most likely be either Krejci or Orji. Krejci’s opportunities have been limited this season, but he is a player that has a lot to offer, and he is an excellent player to have on the counter. However, Orji has done enough to deserve a place in the starting line-up, but whether that happens against Juventus, I’m not so sure.
Juventus have disappointed this season in comparison to the last few years, but they’re only two points off Inter, so they are very much in the title race going into Christmas. Given that both Napoli and Inter seem to win almost every game, Juventus will need a win at Bologna. We covered Juventus’ season in yesterday’s post, so be sure to check that one out for a closer look at them.
Bologna (4-3-3): Mirante; Krafth, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Poli, Pulgar, Donsah; Verdi, Destro, Krejci
Juventus (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Benatia, Rugani, Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa, Mandzukic; Higuain
The game will undoubtedly be tough, and to be honest I don’t have any expectations of a positive result. However, with the performances Bologna have had against the likes of Napoli, Inter and Roma, I’m expecting a solid performance. Fingers crossed!
Photo: Bologna FC