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Juventus FC
Posted by Sumeet Paul on 04/30/2012

Sunday's 4-0 win at Novara made it eight consecutive victories for Juventus, and with just three games remaining this season, the Scudetto is well within grasp. While Milan faltered during the early weeks of April and handed the initiative to Antonio Conte's side, the Bianconeri have hit title-winning form just at the right time, and are now closing in on realising what appeared to be a mere dream at the beginning of the campaign.

'We are three games away from a dream. We're unbeaten in 35, but many had something to complain about, so this gave us further strength and grit'
- Antonio Conte

Only Lecce, Cagliari and Atalanta now stand in the way of the table-topping Old Lady, while Milan face Atalanta, the second Derby della Madonnina of the season against Inter, before ending their campaign against Novara. However, while it is natural to monitor the results of their title rivals, the beauty of the run-in is that Juve have their destiny in their own hands as Conte alluded to in his post-match comments. Undoubtedly the task will prove difficult as his side look to close out the season, but based on recent displays confidence is high.


Mirko Vucinic celebrates his strike at Novara ©PA Photos

Whether or not this evolves into a title-winning season, the club can take great pride from performances throughout the team. The defensive back-line, including Gigi Buffon, have been highly impressive this season. Having conceded just a solitary goal in the eight-game winning streak, the overall figure stands at just 18 for the season so far, a monumental effort from the likes of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leo Bonucci to name but a few. Moving further up the field, Conte arguably possesses one of the best midfield trios' in European football, with Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal outstanding over the course of the season. While individually they are evidently talented midfielders, collectively they appear to compliment each other terrifically and have been integral at both ends of the pitch. Equally impressive is the contribution of goals throughout the team, as various strikers have been under pressure over their clinical edge, or lack of, it is refreshing to see even the likes of Marco Borriello scoring goals at such an important time. Looking at the statistics, the defence rightly earns the majority of the plaudits, but it is also worth noting that only Milan have scored more goals than Juve this season, with the difference standing at just six.

While selfishly the performance of the Juve defence is pleasing to those with an allegiance to the Bianconeri, looking further ahead Cesare Prandelli can only be delighted with what he is witnessing in Turin. The Juve back-line potentially represents the majority of the Italian defence in Poland and Ukraine this summer, and while in such solid form, it can only mean good things for the Euro 2012 campaign.

As the Scudetto nerves continue to build, what is assured for next season is the return of Champions League football. While it is fair to suggest that the rigours of European football will have an effect on domestic form, something Conte and Co have had the luxury of not dealing with this season, a strong Juve side will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the interests of Serie A in Europe. With the addition of some world-class individuals in the summer, perhaps a striker topping the list, these exciting times are a far cry from what the Bianconeri faithful have had to endure over the past few seasons.

'We can make calculations too and we are closing in on the Scudetto in the right way, though we know Milan are great antagonists. The important thing is that our destiny is in our hands'. Those were the words of Conte, now it is essential to put those words into action, starting against Lecce in Turin on Wednesday night. Recent performances suggest that Juve are both focused and hungry to complete the job, now they must hold it together for three more games to seal a memorable season.

Have Juve got both the belief and momentum to continue their incredible current form and wrap up the Scudetto? Or do you still have lingering doubts?

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Comments

Posted by Moose on 04/30/2012

As a Milan fan, I believe that the Scudetto is out of their reach. Injuries have plagued them this year and it is hard to watch them struggle when they have great potential. That being said, I commend Juve and their determination this season. I have a lot of respect for Juventus and it is nice to see the team bounce back after their disappointing season last year. As Conte mentioned, the Scudetto is Juve's to lose. I just hope it is a battle to the end.

Posted by Marcus on 04/30/2012

Great run of form by Juventus and I am extremley happy for them. 3 Games left and we can afford to drop 3 points (due to head2head results in Serie A). Hopefully the Scudetto arrives back home.

Posted by Simon on 04/30/2012

Its eight consecutive wins for Juventus..and I have a superstition going here...I have not watched the last eight matches live...I watched it recorded later after knowing the result...Prior to that I watched 3 matches live which all Juve played draws....

So finger crossed and I wont be watching the remaning 3 matches live unless the scudetto is certain....Waiting for this moment since last 6 years and loving it...FORZA JUVE...

Posted by decina on 04/30/2012

I'm happy to be wrong again, or maybe my pessimism just worked wonders. These last eight games are huge and it'd be great to see it be 11 in a row and put any question of the team's strength and character out of question. I didn't think we'd make this sort of comeback but I'm glad to be proven wrong.
I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but I think there are still a lot of questions for this summer going in to next year. Is it true Quags will be leaving us? Are we going to retain Borrielo and Mirko? Why has Matri been seeing a lesser role? Is it because of Mirko's form? I'm very happy we have been scoring a lot during this 8 game win streak, but the best team's in europe score like this regularly and I still feel like we will need another proven striker or two, especially with champions league coming up.
But I am very content with a scudetto this year and a possible cup trophy. It's a great thing to see us making the way back to the summit. Let us finish strong. Forza Juve!!

Posted by decina on 04/30/2012

Of course as i write that, Quags signs an extension, haha

Posted by Daniel Duncan on 04/30/2012

Beautiful. that's the only comment i can even utter about this campaign, all that aside my worries still exist, we have an extraordinary midfield and defense yet our strikers seem to be lacking something. I still don't believe we in the likes of Quags,Vuncini,Matri,Borrello they have failed to much and this has allowed us to be in as situation where we only 3 pts in front when it should really be 30 pts. Although i realise Conte has been playing with a more attacking mentality which earlier on was never there. Nonetheless it's good to see them pressing the game more, makes u realize if they had done that in more of their games the title would of been ours already. All in all i'm happy with the style, determination, aggressiveness they currently posses. the squad need 2 strikers (prolific,skilled,talented,young-25) and bringing back some youth players to help with the extra burden of UCL the likes of Givinco,Ekdal,Tadier, Pasquato, etc rather than buying normal players Fonza JUVE

Posted by Idris Moh on 04/30/2012

Unbelievable achievement in Antonio Conte's first season.We are all proud of you,and we wish to tell you we're very grateful for what you have done.The giant strides this team has made within the last one year is incredible,the new stadium did a lot of magic too it has become a real fortress. We should start preparing for the challenges of next season.Let me use this medium to thank the management the players, the manager and all his back room staff for this beautiful season.

Posted by Andrew on 05/01/2012

Juventus is on a run of great form right now. It is hard to see them not not being able to win their last three, but as many of us know stranger things have happened. I look forward to how this will finish out and expect to see the Scudetto arrive back in Turin soon enough.

Posted by adrian on 05/01/2012

Absolutely no lingering doubts. What a fantastic run. 2 more wins will be sufficient and then on to Rome for the double against Napoli. Who would have bet a penny on Juve at the start of the season. It says a lot about the spirit that Conte has managed to infuse into the team and right now they are still the only unbeaten team in all of Europe's top leagues while playing some wonderful attacking soccer.
The plan for next season must surely include a first-class striker to avoid all those draws against lower teams that have cost Juve so many points this year. Also bringing back Giovinco and keeping Del Piero should be among their priorities.

Posted by Baggio on 05/01/2012

@ adrian

I disagree, Giovinco will not fit our style. The main reason we are ahead above all else is har work. Giovinco would not suddenly start running up and down, which is why players like Pepe are valued. We need a player liek Jovetic, who I belivee can be the next great Juventus #10. Giovinco disresp[ected us too many times. We need a SS (jovetic), a vice Pirlo (Verratti, another Central mf and another cb (Astori).

Posted by Tim on 05/03/2012

Juve will still win the title, even after drawing yesterday. Milan will drop points against Inter, and Juve will beat Cagliari so we'll see the trophy this weekend.

Posted by Kieran Buckley on 05/06/2012

We have it now anyway.
Juve deserve the title without a loss since the inception of the season.
Also it is good for Italy when Juventus are on top so the national side will reap the benefit.

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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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