Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini believes the Bianconeri still represent the ones to beat in Serie A.
In spite of the reigning champions’ strength, the Grifone tactican says he is looking forward to tomorrow evening’s “stimulating” clash in Liguria and backed the home crowd to make life difficult for the visitors.
Speaking to the media in Genoa, he said: “Juventus have remained the same winning side as far as I’m concerned. Playing against them, Roma or Milan is always stimulating for everyone concerned. These are special kinds of fixtures and important moments of the season that give you confidence if they go well. There will be a big match atmosphere at the Luigi Ferraris, giving us the opportunity to play our game.”
A strong introduction to the season has seen the Juventus academy graduate steer the Grifone to a respectable ninth position, earning plenty of admirers in the process for their flexible tactical approach.
“It’s a compliment to hear people saying that we’re playing like a team in contention for a European spot, we know how to change things up depending on the side we’re up against.
“I didn’t expect us to be where we are at the moment, and I’m very pleased. I’m satisfied with how a team featuring players who didn’t know each other has come together in such a short space of time.”
A major factor behind Genoa’s impressive start has been the consistency displayed by custodian Mattia Perin, whose strong displays towards the back end of last season earned him a call up to the Azzurri’s World Cup squad.
Journalists in Liguria sought to draw comparisons between the 21-year-old and Gigi Buffon, who makes his 500th Juventus appearance tomorrow night, but Gasperini refused to be drawn into the debate.
“I’m happy that Gigi will be playing his 500th game against Genoa. Perin is a very strong player, but I don’t know if he’ll become like Buffon. He had a few problems initially but is now showing his worth.”