Previews: Giovinco stepping out of shadows

ROME - Sebastian Giovinco is looking to boost his claim for a regular place with another sparkling display when second-placed Juventus visit Serie A rivals AS Roma on Saturday.

The 22-year-old has made the most of recent opportunities to impress created by injuries, above all with a man-of-the-match performance in Saturday's 4-1 win over Bologna.

He set up one goal and scored another to inspire the Turin club to a comeback victory that kept alive their title hopes by preventing Inter Milan from stretching their seven-point lead.

A Juve academy product, Giovinco returned to Turin this term after an excellent season on loan at Empoli, who were relegated to Serie B despite his efforts.

"Last year with Empoli I proved I was good enough to play in Serie A," he told Sky television. "Now I've shown I'm good enough to play in Serie A for Juventus."

He has an eye for the telling pass, a strong shot and, standing at just 1.64 metres, uses his low centre of gravity well to dribble past opponents.

Some Italian pundits see Giovinco, nicknamed Atom Ant, as the heir to Pavel Nedved, who said part of the reason he was retiring at the end of the season was to make way for younger players.

Indeed, Giovinco was filling in for Nedved on the left wing against Bologna, although the fit-again Czech should be available this weekend.


Giovinco seems to see himself more as a second striker but, with that position occupied by captain Alessandro Del Piero, he accepts he has to take what he gets.

"Everyone knows what my position is, (coach Claudio) Ranieri included," said Giovinco, who can also play in the hole behind the forwards. "But I try to adapt to what he asks from me."

He will have to keep up the good work to convince the club they do not need the numerous attacking players they have been linked to, including Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano, Valencia's David Silva and Werder Bremen's Diego.

Ranieri is tipped to bring back David Trezeguet despite a public spat that erupted after the French forward complained about being substituted last week when Juve were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea.

Juve still have plenty of fitness headaches but the hosts are even worse off.

Roma will be without at least five injured regulars plus four suspended players -- midfielders Daniele De Rossi and David Pizarro and defenders Marco Motta and Souleymane Diamoutene -- while inspirational captain Francesco Totti is unlikely to play with a knee problem.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho is so short of defenders that he will probably have to field midfielder Esteban Cambiasso at centre back in Sunday's visit by basement club Reggina.

AC Milan are seeking to consolidate third place with a win at Napoli later in the day.