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Serie A Preview: Livorno - Juventus

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Serie A Preview: Livorno - Juventus
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Serie A Preview: Livorno - Juventus

Juventus will line up with a makeshift defense when it goes in search of a fifth consecutive Serie A win against Livorno on Sunday.

The Turin giants will be without Stephan Lichtsteiner (thigh), Andrea Barzagli (muscle problem), Leonardo Bonucci and Angelo Ogbonna (both suspended), while attacker Sebastian Giovinco (foot) is listed as doubtful. Midfielder Mauricio Isla (knee) is also sidelined, along with long-term absentee Simone Pepe (thigh). However, Arturo Vidal has been given clearance to play.

The champions will head to Stadio Armando Picchi looking to maintain the momentum they built before the international break, having won their last four top-flight games without conceding a goal to draw within a point of leader Roma.

Claudio Marchisio reported back from international duty fully fit and the Italy midfielder is prepared to play out of position to help solve Juve's injury crisis.

"We know that we will be going there (Livorno) in a bit of an emergency," he told Sky Sport Italia. "However, I'm convinced that whoever steps out on to the pitch for us will give us their best in a game that won't be easy.

"My role? I'm at the total disposal of the coach and I'll play wherever he needs me to play."

Livorno has slipped to 15th in the table after winning just one of its past nine matches. Davide Nicola's side is just three points above the relegation zone and was beaten 2-0 at Inter last time out.

Nicola knows his team will be up against it when it faces Juve and the Livorno coach spoke of his respect for Conte.

"We're going to be facing a team that has a precise idea of what their identity is," he told Rai2. "They play at a club where the only priority is to win - so it's going to be a difficult challenge for us. We're going to be playing a side that go out with a frightening intensity, but we hope what we've got will be sufficient. Conte, as a coach, is absolutely excellent. We all want to be at the same level as him."

Nicola will be without the suspended pair of goalkeeper Alfonso De Lucia and striker Paulinho, while Marco Benassi is struggling with a calf problem and Ruben Botta is sidelined through injury.

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