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Juventus FC
Posted by Sumeet Paul on 01/19/2012

January 2010, four points collected from a possible fifteen. January 2011, four points collected from a possible fifteen. January 2012, four points collected from a possible six. By this point, the reoccurring theme becomes apparent. With three games remaining this month, the Bianconeri will attempt to achieve something they have failed to do in the past two years, obtain more than four points in January. Following a disappointing home draw with Cagliari, coupled with an equally disappointing second-half performance, do Antonio Conte’s men risk coming close to repeating history?

Unfortunately, predicting the future is beyond my abilities. However, what is certain is that Juve have some sort of mental obstruction when playing a club with the Rossoblu colours. Cagliari followed the example set by Bologna and Genoa in holding the Bianconeri to a share of the spoils in Turin, which at the sound of the full-time whistle was set to ruin the weekend of all those who have an affinity for the league leaders. Come Sunday night however, Juve found themselves a point ahead of nearest rivals Milan after their Derby della Madonnina defeat.


Cossu strikes to secure point for Cagliari ©PA Photos

This Saturday presents the tricky trip to Bergamo, where Juventus will attempt to become only the second team this season to inflict defeat on Atalanta at home. Giorgio Chiellini returns from suspension, to fortify a defence that has conceded just six goals away from home all season, three of those coming in the same game in Naples. Undoubtedly this weekend will be a tough task, a sentiment echoed by Stephan Lichtsteiner;

“Against Atalanta it will not be easy, as the Bergamo side have performed excellently at home. We will have to be aggressive, play to our pace of the game and stay alert in defence.”

Astonishingly, Juve have failed to record back-to-back victories since late November, with victory over Palermo followed up with all three points at the Stadio Olimpico against Lazio. It’s this stuttering stop-start form that could permanently jeopardise their Scudetto ambitions, with the likes of Milan and Inter putting together title-winning runs of victories. It comes as no surprise that the Nerazzurri are back in the mix, and they will almost certainly be in the running come the end of the season. However, history suggests Conte should have little to fear on Saturday, although every game represents a new challenge. Unbeaten in their last five clashes with Atalanta, the Old Lady has four wins and a draw, including 5-2 and 4-0 wins in Bergamo. Perhaps in this instance, it might well be a case of hoping for history to repeat itself.

Following Atalanta, a home clash with Udinese and a trip to the Ennio Tardini to take on Parma complete the fixture list in January. However, the New Year hangover has a tendency to stretch into February and beyond. If the Bianconeri dismiss these mid-season fears in the next three weeks, Conte will have overcome another psychological downfall that has the potential to curtail their season. Unbeaten after eighteen games reads wonderfully, but you don’t win the Scudetto before January. If Juve are to prove themselves, they will have to do so over the next few months.

Can Juve avoid their usual mid-season slump? Are you a happy or disgruntled fan following the arrival of Marco Borriello? Who would you like to see join him this month?

Juve Extra

FINALLY! This week could finally be the week that Amauri decides he’s done in Turin and moves on. According to Sky Sport Italia, the 31-year-old is on the verge of completing a move to Fiorentina. Reports suggest the striker, who has failed to see a single minute of action so far this season, will fetch €250,000.

OFFICIAL: Juve have sold half of Fredrik Sorensen to Bologna (not literally half of the youngster, 50% in one of those wonderful Italian co-ownership deals), while bringing in Saphir Taider in a similar deal. However Taider will remain at Dall’Ara along with Sorensen for the remainder of the season.

RUMOURS: Porto star Fredy Guarin has confessed his undying love for the Bianconeri and admitted ‘it’s either Porto or Juve’. The search for a midfielder continues.

For more of my ramblings you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty or check out Football Curva.



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Comments

Posted by Tim on 01/20/2012

Guarin would be a good bench player, but he is surplus to requirements. Also, Juve really need a quality CB to line up with Chiellini. A player like Hummels (from Borussia Dortmund) would be an excellent addition. Finally, Juve need a better LB. De Ceglie is good, but not great. If Juve could get Balzaretti from Palermo, the already decent defense would improve.

Posted by Simon on 01/21/2012

I believe Juve will be able to avoid the post Christmas break slump this year...Though they were ugly in the last two matches but fortunately they managed 4 points from it and still unbeaten at the top of the table..

Juve unbeaten in 18 matches from the beginning of the league is a record since 1950 I guess...and if we beat Atalanta tonight and crowned as winter champs..it will be a moral boaster....

In past 7 years, team crowned as winter champs has managed to win the scudetto...so I am desperately hoping for the 3 points from tonight's encounter

Posted by Samuel Angol on 01/22/2012

I watched today's game versus Atalanta, and was impressed with what I saw. To be honest, it was the first Juve game I'd watched entirely so far this season. It sure is nice to be at the top of the pile at halfway mark. I know that it is still too early to start talking about the scudetto, but with Conte at the helm and with players like Pirlo and Pepe pulling the strings in midfield, I think we may just be about to turn the corner. It's been six very difficult years since calciopoli, and it's nice to see a giant emerge from its sleep...

Posted by Chris on 01/22/2012

A good win on Saturday for Juve. This is a very solid squad, but they are clearly missing a world class finisher and it is costing them points. I don't anticipate them picking up an elite striker until next year when they can clear out Amauri, Yaquinta, and Toni and have qualified for the Champions League. Marrone looked good yesterday, and I am hopeful that Immobile will make an impact next year when he comes back from loan (he has 15 goals so far in Serie B). I am big Sorensen fan, I hope that he gets some playing time at Bologna and proves his quality.

Posted by Daniel Duncan on 01/25/2012

So far this season I can't complain, it been very exciting and pleasing altogether. The squad this year is more like the kind of player Conte was, strong and hardworking so far we have managed to climb to the top of the table this season and remain there for much of it and i feel confident that we're on the rise once again. The players have show true vigor & purpose, not giving up and i hope that attitude never ends for them. My one concern is the same like everyone else, the need for a prolific striker, Matri is good but needs to climb to the next level so we need a striker & sorry to say Borrellio isn't good enough. Balotelli is some one i can see @ Juve or anyone who has the ability, Lukk De Jong from Twente should be a good buy, he's talented, young & on the cheap side. i hope to see the likes of Amuri, Toni & Iaquinta leave now because their time in Turin should be over. All that being said I feel positive about our chances this year, all the best, Fonza Juve.

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About
David Young After watching his first Serie A game as a youngster, Sumeet Paul has been an avid fan of Italian football ever since. Offering in-depth and opinionated views, coupled with a humourous element, he has a strong desire to become involved in sports writing. Pairing up his life's two greatest loves; football and talking, he would appreciate any feedback and general football conversation, you can email him at sumeetpaul7@googlemail.com or you can follow him on twitter @italiafooty

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