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Juventus FC
Posted by Sumeet Paul on 04/09/2012

'Volo Juve' (Gazzetta dello Sport). 'Juve Prima' (Corriere Dello Sport). Victory at Palermo on Saturday evening ensured the Bianconeri moved a point clear at the top of Serie A, as rivals Milan slipped up at home to Fiorentina. A convincing display in Sicily saw Juve grab back the initiative in the race for the Scudetto, while in stark contrast, the Rossoneri struggled. With Milan evidently jaded after their exploits in Barcelona, and counting the cost of key players absent through injury, Juve have been presented with the perfect opportunity to put their foot down and build on the momentum that is now with them.


Pirlo particularly pleased with Bonucci's opening goal ©Getty Images

Seven games remain in the current campaign, with Juve arguably facing the tougher run-in of the two sides. Games against Lazio and Roma are yet to be negotiated by Antonio Conte’s men, while Inter aside, the most knowledgeable of calcio fan would expect Milan to take maximum points from their remaining games despite their loss at the weekend.

Juve: Lazio (h), Cesena (a), Roma (h), Novara (a), Lecce (h), Cagliari (a), Atalanta (h)

Milan: Chievo (a), Genoa (h), Bologna (h), Siena (a), Atalanta (h), Inter (a), Novara (h)

However, the key component in the race for the Serie A title from a Bianconeri perspective is that it is now in their hands. While it is natural to monitor the results of Max Allegri’s side, the fact is that Juve must remain focused on their fixtures with seven wins standing between them and a surprise Scudetto. A sentiment echoed by Conte:

“I always prefer to lead because that way you depend on nobody except yourself. I know it’s better to be in front, because as a player and a Coach I have been in these situations.”

The commitment, desire and most importantly belief have been on show in the last few matches, from the win in Florence via the Derby d’Italia victory followed by wins over Napoli and Palermo. The likes of Leo Bonucci have begun to silence the critics, not only contributing to the best defence in Italy, but scoring vital goals. The unbeaten run now stretches to 31 games, while it is now just 17 goals conceded in that time.

The biggest shock of the weekend came courtesy of the myth, the legend himself ending a goal drought lasting almost a calendar year. Former Juventus ‘striker’ Amauri, of whom I’ve always been a huge fan...struck the killer blow at the San Siro on Saturday which indirectly helped his old club and sent the handful of Viola fans in the third tier of the Curva Nord into delirium. However, the Brazilian-born forward was keen to stress he wasn’t too interested in the impact his goal had on his old friends in Turin;

“Did I do a favour for Juventus? I do not care, all I care about is doing a favour for Fiorentina.’

Err...thanks anyway Amauri. Juve host Lazio on Wednesday night, 24 hours after Milan travel to Chievo hoping to reclaim top spot. Gigi Buffon has often admitted that he prefers to play after their rivals, giving his side a further incentive to match or better their result. That ideology will continue this week, as Juve will hope to widen the gap and take the first of seven steps to the Scudetto.

Can Juve go on to win their remaining seven games and secure the Scudetto? Do you feel more comfortable leading rather than chasing, knowing that the outcome of this title race is now in the hands of Conte & Co?

For more of my ramblings on Juve and Serie A, follow me on Twitter @italiafooty



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Comments

Posted by Gruia on 04/09/2012

Lazio should be a tough cookies for the Old Lady, but a bit of luck and determination should see Juventus through. As for Amauri, heavens forgive me for saying this, but he's the biggest delusion of the last 10 years in all of football. I never really understood what anyone saw in him. Also, though I would like Milan to win the league, Juventus will steamroll through the last matches. That is, unless the ball starts hitting Inzaghi in the shins and ricocheting into goal again for about 12 times.

Posted by Djindan on 04/10/2012

You're fan of Amauri?! Come on, man. You got to be kidding.

Posted by Sumeet on 04/10/2012

Sarcasm Djindan...

Posted by decina on 04/10/2012

A few posts ago I said there was no way our juve would win the scudetto; I will gladly eat the crow today. Maybe the pessimism worked. But games against lazio and roma will not be easy and if we don't get six points from those we could be chasing milan to the end of the race.
I would definitely rather be leading then chasing milan. They could easily win their next seven games and without a lead our boys could get dejected quickly. This hope and is fresh air and optimism and we need it to win.
I'm so impressed with the 3-5-2 lately. I think our forwards have been getting much better opportunities because of the width those wing backs are giving us.
We have a rare opportunity to win two trophies this year and I hope we don't get overly confident. A big win in torino tomorrow and we'll send shutters through the rest of the league. I hope we get back to our winning ways. Juve deserve this success. Fora Juve!!

Posted by Tim on 04/10/2012

Milan will drop points to Chievo. Chievo is a tough place to play, and I believe Milan drew there last year. Additionally, Juve will probably only drop 4 points (2 draws) the rest of the way. If Milan drops any more than 3 points, it's all over.

Posted by Zmon on 04/10/2012

I like the positive thinking!!!..I don't doubt that Juve can finish this strong. I am just a bit frustrated with the lack of clinical finishing. We are creating A LOT of chances. Any goal is a good goal, but Bonucci should not be the man that is responsible for scoring, he is responsible for keeping goals out. We need the strikers (all 12 of them) to actually strike. I really do believe that Del Piero is the only proven finisher of the ball on this team..Matri, Qual, Borriello, and Vucinic all need to finish when they are given the chance to be on the field. Grande Juve!

Posted by Anonymous on 04/10/2012

forza juve i hope they will stick to the top as the league goes to its final stages iam looking forward to juve being champion this year after 6 years trophyless they need concentration and not to drop more pionts

Posted by george on 04/12/2012

milan will win juve will fall...thats the end of it.milan is a much more stronger team.actually its the best team in the world.

Posted by Ollegio on 04/14/2012

Title or not, Juve have rebuilt a solid "team" and will qualify for Champions League. This is thanks to Conte's leadership. I look forward to seeing how the team is crafted for next year and am encouraged that they are NOT interested in Ballotelli.

George: It is clear that you are a Milan fan, but "actually its the best team in the world"?..let's not be silly..

Posted by Simon on 04/14/2012

Lazio down..now 6 more matches to go....I have told in my earlier post that Milan will drop points due to thier CL engagament with Barca...thats what happened...

Another fantastic goal from Alex.....Agnelli & Moretta....why on earth would you not extend Alex's contract...he is always there when Juve needs him...

Fan's campaign to push Agnelli & Moretta to extend Del Piero's contract has started and also call from many former players & coaches...Along with the scudetto momentus we (fans) must also build the momentum to pust for Alex's contract extension...

FORZA JUVE FORZA ALEX...we believe in the scudetto

Posted by Daniel Duncan on 04/16/2012

It is exciting to be on top of Serie A once again and looking on to the future it looks really promising. Concerning Del Pero, i believe he needs to be there to over see the rebuild and to help with the revitalization of the club he was there as a young player when the club was at the top of Europe(94-99) and it would be ashamed to get ride of such a experienced and talented servant of the club before the rebuilding process is over. I would prefer to get ride of Quag,Vuncini,Borellio, Matri before i lose him, the club needs potent strikers and they are not plus they are almost 30 and can't score more than 30 goals a season then there useless. If the club get ride of Del before they acquire a prolific striker it wold be like when we lost Nedved and had no one to replace him. So i plead with management to by a young talented,prolific striker(s) the like of Balotelli, DeJong, Hazard,Neymar and plz no overrated old players think of the future and moving forward. Fonza Juve.

Posted by Jim on 04/16/2012

Juve has indeed built a strong team, but is it enough to win? Juve has hada run of great goal scoring lately but if that does not last until the end of the season, we have just as much chance as everyone else, none. Del Piero has put the team on his back in the last couple of weeks and should be rewarded with one more year, although strikers still need to be brought in, because we can not rely all season on someone who is most of the way through his 30's already. As always Forza Juve!

Posted by Daniel Duncan on 04/17/2012

@ Jim- Yes i do agree that the team is looking strong but our front line has been poor with the exception of Del Pero and in last game where it was heading for another draw a piece of brilliance and magic for a man who has been there for nearly 2 decades. I think Juve need him more than ever now he needs to be there till the project is in high speed, think about it if Conte had not brought him on we might of been seeing another period of drawn games. Presently, the defense is strong 2 addition should be enough to contend on UCL, the midfield has been work well & hard but needs some quality reinforcements, 4 midfielders(Ekdal,Ginadanato,Tadier, +Gotze)the strike force is a problem with the two first choice scoring

Posted by Ollegio on 04/23/2012

Juve-4 Roma-0

Getting closer! Still concerning that all 4 goals came from that fantastic midfield, and nothing from the strikers.

Posted by tom on 04/24/2012

Who was the english commentator on ESPN for the Juve - Roma game this past weekend? He also commentated the Derby D'Italia earlier in the year. I love hearing him commentate but can't figure out his name. Thanks in advance for any help I may get.

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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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