Juventus visit lower rung Genoa on Sunday afternoon,in a buoyant mood as the Serie A champions continue their pursuit of runaway leaders AC Milan after a morale-raising Camp Nou triumph in midweek. The hosts, meanwhile, are still languishing in the relegation zone following another sluggish start, with rumours circulating about the immediate future of luckless manager Rolando Maran.
Juventus effectively reversed their home defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, comprehensively taking care of the Catalan giants in a 3-0 win that saw them seal first place in Group G.In the league though, Juve - so domestically dominant over the past decade - are in fourth place, six points behind leaders Milan due to a frustrating propensity for drawing games against supposedly inferior opposition.
To date, the 2020-21 Serie A season has brought both five wins and five draws for Andrea Pirlo's's unbeaten side, though they did manage to close out last weekend's Derby della Mole with city rivals Torino.
Late strikes from Weston Mckinnie- who scored again, quite spectacularly, in Barcelona - and Leonardo Bonucci helped them overcome an early deficit in a game they controlled throughout.
Juventus may be one of five sides yet to taste defeat in the top five European leagues this season - along with Milan, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg - but are now in need of nothing but maximum points from encounters such as Sunday's encounter.
Pirlo's defence is - together with Verona's - the most watertight in the league, but their 'goals for' column is only fourth best in Serie A. Essentially, they have struggled to finish teams off when Cristiano Ronaldo has been absent or not scored, but winning an appeal regardingAlvaro Morata's suspension this week should help matters for the trip to Genoa.
The Old Lady's hosts have lost each of their last four home league games - following their most recent Marassi defeat at the hands of Parma - and they have never suffered a longer such streak in their lengthy Serie A history.
Rock-bottom confidence and apparently little direction under coach Rolando Maran mean that his team's task in keeping out Juve's cast of stars is virtually unachievable.
Andrea Pirlo can use this opportunity to build some winning momentum behind his side's Scudetto challenge and regain the ruthless focus which had been missing from the opening weeks of their campaign.
Juventus continues the momentum and tightens the gap on hated rival Milan.
Prediciton: Genoa 0-2 Juventus