With one eye towards next week, something to remember is the Atalanta contest comes just a week before Juventus face Roma. They will not want to give the Giallorossi added motivation heading into that key clash.
It would be tempting with a seven point lead to focus solely on Borussia Dortmund, but after Cesena poured cold water on a sleeping Juve there is added significance to Atalanta’s visit. Ahead of the Olimpico contest, the Scudetto race must remain of importance for the Bianconeri. And getting back on track against the Orobici will be the perfect lead-in to their European affair.
Downing the Nerazzurri will at the very least maintain a seven point gap. Trip up again and Roma &n正规博狗平台dash; away at struggling Verona – will know a win this weekend would give them the opportunity to get within touching distance at the Stadio Olimpico. That’s why the boss and captain were upset after Cesena. Not that Roma’s form of late has troubled Juventus, but the Lupi know if the champions get away now they will be nearly impossible to catch.
Asked about rotating in Cesena, Allegri’s response was to offer a reminder that with each passing match, fewer mistakes could be made. He would not rotate then and the suggestion from La Gazzetta dello Sport is he will continue with a first-choice team tomorrow. That would include Carlos Tevez and Giorgio Chiellini, both missing last week, plus Morata – who has established himself in attack following three goals in his last four appearances. The pink paper believes the only potential change with Dortmund in mind is Roberto Pereyra coming in for Andrea Pirlo. The proximity of the trip to the capital somewhat forces Allegri’s hand.
Facing a vigorous Cesena side spurred on by a fiery Dino Manuzzi crowd, Juventus took time to find their r必博体育hythm last Sunday. When they did the Bianconeri were forced to come from behind to salvage the match. Alvaro Morata and Claudio Marchisio netted, but Juve didn’t count on Franco Brienza’s rasping equaliser. The visitors may have won through a late Arturo Vidal penalty, but the Chilean sent the ball past the post, and the chance to extend the lead at the top was lost.
While Domenico Di Carlo spoke of Cesena’s courage in the 2-2 draw, counterpart Massimilano Allegri blamed his side’s arrogance. Gianluigi Buffon spoke in the same vein: “Some of our less experienced players need to understand that nobody will give us the Scudetto. We have to earn it each and every weekend.”
It starts with Atalanta tomorrow night. The dropped points against Cesena mean the aim is to quickly return to winning ways. The Old Lady last suffered a home defeat to the Bergamaschi in 1989, dropping points in just three of 17 subsequent meetings. The Orobici have recovered Boukary Drame from injury, but Maxi Moralez and Giuseppe Biava have been ruled out as they attempt to stop a run of three losses in four matches.
No doubt it was a wake-up call for Juventus. Given Roma’s draw earlier in the day, a win would have opened a nine point gap ahead of what is a potentially season defining period. In it, the Turin club will compete on three fro澳门云鼎nts, aiming to preserve their Serie A advantage and advance in both the Champions League and Coppa Italia.
Both Allegri and Buffon referred to the team’s lackadaisical attitude in Cesena and so approaching the tie with Borussia Dortmund fully focused will be important. The Old Lady cannot look at Dortmund’s position on the Bundesliga table as an indicator, for – as Pavel Nedved has pointed out – they are a different side in Europe. Cesena exposed defensive frailties last weekend that will suit Jurgen Klopp’s men. Tomorrow’s contest is an opportunity to put that right ahead of Tuesday.