21st of December 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Defending champions and Serie A leaders Juventus have a difficult test on Saturday as they host seventh-placed AS Roma at Allianz Stadium in Turin on Saturday evening. Last season Juventus won the home match against Roma 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from central defender Mehdi Benatia, while the reverse fixture ended goalless. AS Roma have managed to win two of the last six matches against Juventus, but both victories were recorded at the Olympic Stadium in the Italian capital city. Juventus have won the last eight home matches against Roma in all competitions, the last victory for the Giallorossi at the Bianconeri was in an Italian Cup match in 2011.
Juventus continue to dominate the Italian league and they are very likely to grab their eighth consecutive Serie A title. Last week they had another pretty tough match, the Derby della Mole against local rivals Torino, and they won it 1-0 with a second-half goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo from the penalty spot. That was their seventh consecutive Serie A defeat and the fifth consecutive clean sheet in the league, they have conceded just eight goals since the start of the season. Joao Cancelo, Juan Cuadrado and Andrea Barzagli are all out injured, but Rodrigo Bentancur is available again after having served his suspension.
AS Roma are having their worst season in the past few years, it seems they will finish outside the top three for the first time after five years of podium placements. They are currently down in seventh place after having won just six of their sixteen league matches so far this season, and they are a whole 22 points behind leaders Juventus. Last week they managed to end a terrible streak of five matches without victory in all competitions with a laboured 3-2 home victory over Genoa. Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy, Daniele De Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini are injury doubts for the visitors.
Juventus: Szczesny - De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro - Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi - Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo
AS Roma: Olsen - Florenzi, Fazio, Manolas, Kolarov - Nzonzi, Cristante - Under, Zaniolo, Kluivert - Dzeko
My prediction: Juventus to win 3-1, Roma are not nearly as strong as they were last season.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Juventus win - 1.44
Draw - 4.50
AS Roma win - 7.50
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Juventus keeps winning for yet another season in Seria A no matter who they face really.
It's true that their results are not too convincing in terms of high scoring anyway but it looks like they'd not have any issues to defend their title for yet another season while meanwhile chasing the ultimate goal of winning the Champions League at last.
Who knows, maybe they could win that as well.
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