'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
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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