Each week Juventus.com will be equipping supporters with a six-step guide to upcoming Serie A games.
Packed full of stats collated from the first half of the season, curiosities, historic meetings and links between the teams, this feature is a must-read for those wishing to get up to speed on the Bianconeri’s opponents.
Here’s the first installment, focusing on Sunday afternoon’s visitors Chievo.
1. Getting out of the blocks
A major factor behind the Bianconeri’s strong form so far this campaign has been their ability to burst out the traps quickly, making them Serie A’s most prolific team in the first 15 minutes of games with nine strikes to date. Twice this term, against Cagliari and Verona, they have even managed to take a two-goal lead in this period.
In contrast, Chievo have struggled to impose themselves in the early stages of games, netting just four inside the opening quarter of an hour. This inertia is extended to first halves in general, in which they have drawn a blank in 16 of 19 played so far.
2. Set piece specialists
One area Massimiliano Allegri will be briefing his men on is Chievo’s efficiency from dead ball situations, Serie A’s top team for converting from indirect free-kicks (four).
All have come from deliveries into the box, with Alberto Paloschi, Ervin Zukanovic, Sergio Pellissier and Riccardo Meggiorini on hand to pick up the pieces.
Meanwhile, Martin Caceres’ header from Andrea Pirlo’s inswinging set piece, which restored the Bianconeri’s lead in Naples, remains the team’s only goal to have stemmed from an indirect free-kick this term.
3. Paying the penalty
The Gialloblu join Udinese as one of only two teams who have yet to be awarded a penalty this season. Juventus have converted all of their four given to date, with Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez each bagging braces from the spot.
4. Contrasting strikeforces
Sunday’s match-up marks the meeting of Serie A’s most potent and weakest attacks (Juventus 42, Chievo 14). The Gialloblu sit alongside Cesena as the league’s only teams who have yet to score more than two in a game.
Historically speaking, Sergio Pellissier is the Chievo man to have wreaked most havoc in the Juventus rearguard, striking four in total. These include a memorable hat-trick in April 2009, when the Gialloblu held the hosts to a 3-3 draw at the Stadio Olimpico. He will be hoping for the tide to turn, however, as he has failed to find the target in each of his last six appearances against the Bianconeri.
Curiously enough, this season’s top scorer Alberto Paloschi is maintaining a career trend of scoring more goals on the road than in front of his own crowd, with three of his four strikes this term coming away from Verona.
5. Eyes on the five
Rolando Maran’s men approach Sunday’s encounter with their sights set on recording a fifth unbeaten game on the road for the first time since 2009.
6. Familiar faces
One stop on Andrea Barzagli’s rise to the pinnacle of Serie A stardom came at Chievo, where he made 29 Serie A appearances in the 2003/04 season, scoring three goals.
For the Gialloblu, Marcelo Estigarribia returns to the city where he earned a Scudetto winnners’ medal after spending the 2011/12 campaign on loan in Turin. He appeared 14 times in the top flight for Antonio Conte’s side, striking once.