Toni calls on Hellas Verona to rise to Juve challenge

Hellas Verona striker Luca Toni is hoping his side can rise to the occasion when they host Serie A leaders Juventus on Sunday.

Luca Toni, Hellas Verona

The Verona outfit are enjoying an impressive campaign after gaining promotion to the top flight last summer.

However, they have failed to beat any of the top four teams in the standings and know it will take a monumental effort to stun a Juve side that have won 19 games and lost just one of their 22 in the league so far.

"We will need to be at our best to beat Juventus," Toni said.

"We need a perfect team performance, one of those which we have put in in the past.

"Juve are having a great campaign but so are we.

"We are playing at home and we are really motivated by our current position in the standings, so we will play without pressure."

Hellas bounced back from defeats to Napoli, Roma and AC Milan with a 2-1 triumph at Sassuolo last time out.

The outcome lifted Andrea Mandorlini's side to fifth, two points clear of Inter Milan.

"That result got us closer to defending our Serie A status," Toni said. "Now our focus is on giving continuity to this result and try to have fun as we look to finish the campaign as high as possible in the table."

Juve make the journey to Verona on the back of last weekend's 3-1 triumph over Inter.

The result moved Juve nine points clear of second-place Roma at the top of the standings, but the Giallorossi have a game in hand.

Antonio Conte's side boast the best attacking line in the competition, with 54 goals, while they have given away just 16 at the other end.

"Victories have allowed my team to acquire a winning mentality," Conte said. "That mentality helped us to beat Inter.

"But there are still many games left to play and we cannot relax."

Conte is set to hand new signing Daniel Osvaldo his debut in Verona. Osvaldo joined Juve on loan from Southampton last week.

Juve will also be bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from suspension.



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