17th of April 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Minnows Crotone are hoping for a small miracle when they face reigning champions and Serie A leaders Juventus at Ezio Scida Stadium on Wednesday. The reverse fixture was won comfortably by Juventus, it ended 3-0 in November with goals from Mario Mandzukic, Mattia De Sciglio and Mehdi Benatia. Juventus have won all the last five direct matches between the two teams, including the pair of matches that they played in Serie B back in the 2006-2007 season. Moreover, Crotone have not managed to score a single goal in the last five matches they played against Juventus.
Crotone have won three of their last twelve Serie A matches but only one of the last five, and they are currently in the relegation zone. However, 17th-placed Spal are just one point ahead, so with six matches left in the season Crotone still have a good chance of surviving in the top flight. Last weekend Crotone lost 1-0 at Genoa, they had most of the ball possession in that match but only managed to land one shot on target. Andrea Nalini, Ante Budimir and Ahmad Benali are all injured and won't be able to play in Wednesday's match.
Juventus made another step towards the title last weekend, they hammered Sampdoria 3-0 and took advantage of Napoli's goalless draw at AC Milan. Now Juventus have a comfortable six-point advantage over Napoli at the top of the table, so the Bianconeri would need to lose two of the remaining six league matches in order to give Napoli a chance to get back into the title race. That seems quite difficult to imagine since Juventus have lost just two league matches all season. Federico Bernardeschi and Mattia De Sciglio are the only injury concerns for head coach Massimiliano Allegri ahead of this match.
Crotone: Cordaz - Faraoni, Ceccherini, Capuano, Martella - Stoian, Barberis, Mandragora - Ricci, Simy, Trotta
Juventus: Szczesny - Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Rugani, Sandro - Marchisio, Matuidi - Costa, Dybala, Mandzukic - Higuain
My prediction: Juventus to win 1-0.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Crotone win - 10.00
Draw - 5.00
Juventus win - 1.33
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Crotone played a very good game in this and they deserved the point against Italy's best side.
The equalizing goal was a bicycle kick pretty firmly done by the Crotone striker and really made to count all their efforts in the game.
Nothing fatal happened from a Juve perspective as they are still 4 points clear at the top and a huge favourites for yet another title of course.
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