x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Juve are walking wounded

Juventus hope their recent form in Serie A will not be stalled by a rash of injuries for the visit to Genoa.

Juventus hope their recent form in Serie A will not be stalled by a rash of injuries for tonight's visit to Genoa. The Turin giants have a perfect record after collecting four wins in as many games, but Ciro Ferrara's side make the journey to the Italian Riviera without four key players. Attacking duo Alessandro del Piero and Diego will only return following injury against Bologna this weekend. Also sidelined are veteran defender Fabio Cannavaro and midfielder Tiago, both struggling with thigh problems.

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo might play after shaking off an ankle injury. While injuries did not hinder Juve in last weekend's 2-0 win over Livorno, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon knows the game at the Luigi Ferraris stadium is an altogether different battle. "It's an important match," said Buffon, whose crucial saves helped his team clinch three points at the weekend. "Not so much because of the points as it is early days in the campaign. However, this game should give my team an indication of where we are. At Genoa we will need to give a convincing performance and win in order to grow in self-belief."

Genoa have lost just two encounters at the Ferraris stadium this year, their last a 1-0 defeat to Lazio in April. Moreover, they beat Juve 3-2 in their last meeting in Liguria. But the Genoa defender Emiliano Moretti knows he and his teammates will be made to work hard by a side that has scored at least a goal in each of their last 21 games. "We know we face an unbeaten team," said Moretti, who briefly played at Juventus. "But we will go out on the pitch with the same spirit as always, that of a team that wants to impose its own play."

* With agencies Genoa v Juve, KO 10.45pm, Aljazeera Sport +1