There is a perfect symmetry to Livorno’s home record during the 2013/14 campaign: two wins, two draws and two defeats, with eight goals scored and the same number conceded.
The Amaranto began the season with opening-day defeat to a dominant Roma. They were sunk by a stunning goal from Daniele De Rossi, who let the ball run across him 35 yards out before lashing it right-footed into the corner, and an equally well-taken second on the half-volley by young midfielder Alessandro Florenzi.
Livorno fared better next time, beating Catania 2-0 to keep the visitors bottom of Serie A thanks to a lethal brace in the space of six second-half minutes by Paulinho.
But they didn’t have the upper hand in the same way in their next fixture at the Armando Picchi, a 1-1 draw against Cagliari in which the Sardinians were the better side and could have pulled off a win.
They weren’t any luckier after the international break, either, ending up defeated 2-1 by Sampdoria after a cruel 96th minute penalty by Niccola Pozzi.
The next time Davide Nicola’s men ran out at their home ground was against Torino in what would turn out to be a gripping game.
It finished 3-3 in the end after multiple twists and turns: the hosts went 2-0 down within the first eight minutes, but Paulinho prodded home a tap-in to begin the comeback, after which Leandro Greco netted into the corner and Emerson fired in a wondergoal from all of 40 yards.
The Amaranto were on course for a triumphant win at that point, but a late penalty from Alessio Cerci spoiled the party to snatch a point for the visitors.
The side’s latest home result was a 1-0 win over 10-man Atalanta, with a Paulinho finish hit early into the far post from just inside the area putting an end to the Amaranto’s seven-match winless run.
Playing a 3-5-2 formation, Livorno focus the majority of their efforts down the wings, particularly the right. They have created 71% of their 13 goals (exactly half Juve’s number) from that flank, a figure 40% higher than the league average.
Nicola’s men have also been clinical in taking advantage of errors, scoring twice directly from defensive mistakes made by the opposition (Paulinho against Catania and Andrea Luci against Cagliari).
They are not a side to push things in attack, with only Torino having made fewer passes in the opposing third in Serie A, but Juventus will have to pay attention to their capabilities in shooting from positions outside the area, from which Luca Siligardi struck against Sampdoria and Emerson netted a wondergoal against Torino.
The Amaranto are also effective from set pieces. Leandro Greco converted a direct free-kick in the 4-1 away win at Sassuolo, and Leandro Rinaudo headed in a Greco corner against Hellas Verona.
Livorno are unbeaten after having gone in front, but they have conceded more goals in the first 15 minutes than any other Serie A side.