Juventus’ three-point lead over Napoli at the top of Serie A could come under threat when the champions make a potentially challenging trip to Chievo missing striker Mirko Vucinic and coach Antonio Conte (picture).
Vucinic was one of several players cautioned for aggressive behaviour, and handed a one-match ban, towards the match referee after he refused to award an apparently valid penalty claim in the final minute of a 1-1 draw with Genoa.
Also missing on the Verona club’s touchline following bans will be defender Giorgio Chiellini (one match) and Leonardo Bonucci (two) as well as Conte (two).
Chievo are certainly not title contenders but they stunned Lazio in Rome last week, beat an impressive Atalanta side 1-0 in their first match of 2013 and took three points from Roma.
The possiblity of Juve dropping more points will not be lost on Napoli, who closed the gap to three with a late winner against Parma last week courtesy of Uruguayan Edinson Cavani.
Cavani, who had been linked to a number of top clubs in the lead-up to Thursday’s winter transfer deadline, may well add to his league-leading tally of 18 goals when Napoli host Catania.AFP