Serie A Preview: Catania v Juventus

Juventus will be expecting to pile on the misery for bottom club Catania when the sides meet in Serie A on Sunday.

The Turin outfit are chasing down the division's record points total of 97 - set by Inter in 2007 - and should have three more to show for their efforts come the end of this weekend.

Indeed, if Juventus win their remaining 10 matches, they will surpass that marker by eight points and, with Roma well adrift in second, Antonio Conte's men may feel they have the freedom to push for the milestone.

Catania's run of one win from their last 10 league fixtures stands in stark contrast to the form of the defending champions, who are unbeaten in 20, having won 18 of those.

It has been a campaign of dramatic decline for the hosts, who finished eighth last season but are now facing the very real prospect of a return to Serie B after an eight-year absence.

Sunday's 3-1 loss to fellow strugglers Sassuolo saw Rolando Maran's men hit rock-bottom and the task that will greet them this weekend is one of the most daunting in Italian football.

Catania have not beaten Juve since 2009, although that victory came in Turin, where Juve stormed to a 4-0 triumph earlier this season.

Andrea Pirlo found the net with a superb free-kick on that occasion - his 100th appearance for the club - and the midfielder has attracted much praise in recent weeks after more set-piece wizardry.

The 34-year-old scored a late set-piece in Juve's 1-0 win at Genoa last time out in the league, before producing another top-drawer set-piece effort to knock Fiorentina out of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

Pirlo's dead-ball form moved Juve assistant boss Angelo Alessio to proclaim to Mediaset: "I think Pirlo is the best in the world at free-kicks and I also believe he can beat Sinisa Mihajlovic's record of goals from set-plays in Serie A (27)."

The league leaders are without the suspended Paul Pogba for the trip to Catania, while Andrea Barzagli and Federico Peluso miss out through injury. Claudio Marchisio and Angelo Ogbonna remain doubtful.