European football returns to full strength this weekend with no cup or European distractions. We’re now into the first weekend of March, and with the top leagues taking still competitive at both ends, we prepare for an exciting climax. This will be week 25 of the campaign in Italy, with Napoli still top of Serie A ahead of Inter Milan and AC Milan, who sit second and third, respectively. The leaders are already 18 points clear, making Serie A a race to be the best of the rest. Napoli is unlikely to drop the ball from such a strong position, but you never know. Anything can and often does happen in Serie A.
Four games will be played in the Italian top flight on Sunday, with the action getting underway at 11:30 GMT when Spezia hosts Hellas Verona. The early kick-off time won’t do much to attract a large TV audience, but there are more interesting games on the schedule, and we preview the best of them on this page. Roma enjoys the home advantage over Italy’s most successful team, Juventus. That fixture is the highlight of the day, sitting at the top of the bill with an advertised 19:45 kick-off slot. Which team will win on Sunday evening?
Our team of football writers aims to help answer that question with our big match preview and predictions. We bring you up to speed on the recent form of both teams, any players worth looking out for in this game, and how we think the result might go on Sunday. A strong case could be made for either team winning this game, but we have made our selections and are ready to share them with you in this Roma v Juventus preview.
Roma unbeaten in three
Roma enters this match sitting fifth in the Serie A table with their hopes of grabbing a top-four finish still very much alive. The home team brings stats of thirteen wins, five draws and five defeats. They have scored 30 goals and conceded 19 which is a fair reflection of their position in the table, although they must improve their scoring stats while guarding their defensive numbers if they are to break into the prize places. A top-four finish and place in next season’s Champions League would be a successful season for Roma.
They prepare for this match on the back of a less than convincing run of form that has seen them win three, draw one and lose one. The 10 points claimed from a possible 15 keeps them on track and is better or as good as the form shown by three of the four teams above them in the table. Roma are capable of maintaining the fight and know if they continue to be consistent, picking up points and avoiding a run of defeats, they’ll be in with a chance of making it to European football’s premier competition. But there’s still plenty of work to be done on that front before Roma fans can begin to raise their hopes.
Unbeaten in three, Roma have two wins and a draw in that period. They claimed a maximum three points in their last outing, beating Hellas Verona 1-0 at home. That was a match they were expected to win a tad more comfortably, but they got the desired result and the three points needed to keep them on track. The clean sheet was one of three last month and that sturdy backline will be called into action again this weekend. Do Roma have what it takes to beat Juventus and maintain their push? Armchair fans can’t wait to find out.
Juve win three on the bounce
What exactly is happening at Juventus? The Old Lady dominated Italian football for the best part of a decade before falling off their perch and down the pecking order. After two miserable seasons where they failed to land a blow on the eventual champions, most football fans and lovers of Serie A expected Juventus to bounce back this year. They thought the former champions and Italy’s most successful team would begin a fightback that would lead them back to glory. That hasn’t been the case.
Juventus are currently stuck down in eighth position in the Serie A with 32 points on the board which is 33 points fewer than leaders Napoli. That’s quite a gap. Winning the league championship has been beyond them for much of the season with Napoli sprinting clear in the early exchanges and building a strong lead from the front. But Juventus have barely given the top-four sides cause for concern. Their stats of fourteen wins, five draws and four defeats tells the story of a bigger problem at the club and things could get worse before they get any better, that’s for sure.
Despite their lowly league position and lack of title chances, Juve have been moving in the right direction of late, winning each of their last three following a winless drought. Nine points claimed from a possible nine has put the visitors back on solid ground and if they can beat Roma on their patch it would do wonders for the squad’s confidence. They warmed up for ths roadtrip with a valuable 2-0 away win over Spezia and were in action in midweek when hosting Torino on Tuesday evening in the league. A strong Juve makes for a strong Serie A, but will the team keep winning?
Roma v Juventus prediction
Two huge teams from Italian football who arrive on the back of unbeaten runs in the league. Roma are higher in the pecking order, have more to play in terms of league position and enjoy the home advantage. Will that be enough to see them past a Juve side that’s still difficult to trust?
Serie A odds
Online sportsbook 22bet offer all members betting odds and markets on this fixture with Roma trading at 2.44. Prefer Juventus to claim the points at 3.06 or would you be happier on the fence, backing the draw at 3.168?
Make sure to bet on Roma v Juventus with 22Bet!