Who said that the standard of football in Italy was declining? Juventus proudly defeated 10 times Champions League winners Real Madrid on Tuesday night with goals from Alvaro Morata and Carlos Tevez to fly the flag for Serie A. They sealed their 4th consecutive Scudetto after Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Sampdoria. However, they will need to fully respect their remaining 4 fixtures as it has significance on other positions in the table.
Juventus v Cagliari
Confidence will be sky high at Juventus and they’ll continue to respect the league despite sealing their own fate last weekend. They face 18th side Cagliari on Saturday evening and a defeat for the away side could see them drop 9 points off Atalanta with just 3 games to go.
You can expect Manuel Allegri to rest several players ahead of the 2nd leg of the Champions League clash in Madrid during midweek but even the players coming in will be more than capable of overcoming their opponents.
Cagliari have gained 6 points from a possible 9 available and that included the 4-0 demolition job on Monday of already relegated, Parma. Gianluca Festa will be satisfied with the performance and is unlikely to make any changes from the side.
As mentioned, Juventus will have one eye on the return leg so expect the likes of Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Giorgio Chiellini to be rested with the likes of Fernando Llorente, Andrea Barzagli and Ricardo Pereyra to step in. It is an opportunity for the players who didn’t start in the 1st leg to prove that their more than capable of performing on the biggest of stages next Wednesday.
AC Milan v Roma
Roma jumped ahead of Lazio in the race for runners up spot as they took advantage of Lazio’s draw with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Genoa. They’re now 1 point ahead of Lazio but their goal difference is 9 goals worse so they’ll be desperate to keep their advantage but travel to the daunting San Siro to take on 11th placed AC Milan.
AC have lost 3 on the bounce and time looks to be running out for manager, Filippo Inzaghi who looks certain to face the axe after their dreadful campaign. Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Napoli wasn’t helped with the sending off in the 2nd minute that made it virtually impossible for them to try and muster a result.
AC’s injuries have been evident this season and Riccardo Montolivo is a very influential player for them but he has been restricted to 10 appearances this season. He’ll be joined in the stands by Jeremy Menez who is in the middle of serving a 4 match ban. Matteo De Sciglio’s straight red card against Napoli also means he’ll be missing.
Roma’s Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan shook off their respective injuries to start against Genoa and will once again be starting for Rudi Garcia’s side. Alessandro Florenzi was also a doubt but put in a man of the match display and capped it off with a goal in injury time. Adem Ljajic was fit enough for a place on the substitute’s bench but will find it hard to regain his place out wide.
Lazio v Inter
Lazio will have been disappointed to surrender their place in 2nd after labouring to a 1-1 draw at Atalanta on Sunday. Roma seized the opportunity and with just 4 games remaining Lazio have their work cut out and start by hosting Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan.
Inter are unbeaten in 6 and that included a 2-1 victory over Roma and they will be hoping for a similar result against one of the league’s top sides. However, Inter struggled against Chievo last time out and missed a host of chances which resulted in a 0-0 at home.
Lazio have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 home league matches whilst Inter Milan share the exact same record away from home in the league so the statistics tell you goals should be on show! Considering the shortage of defenders for Lazio you fancy Inter’s chances of scoring as Stefan de Vrij, Lorik Cana and Stefan Radu are missing through injury.
Miroslav Klose was suspended against Atalanta and Lazio’s top goal scorer on 12 league goals this term will be straight back into the side. Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi fired blanks on their last appearance and Lukas Podolski will be desperate to prove he is the man to provide the goals for Inter.