• Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:13 pm

Pirlo's Juve face key January test

  • Published at 01:03 pm January 2nd, 2021
Pirlo

Juventus are sixth, 10 points adrift of top spot, but having played a game less

Andrea Pirlo's Juventus face a key test of their ambitions to clinch a 10th consecutive Serie A title in a packed January of football in Italy after a stuttering start which has left the holders sixth in the league. 

Serie A returns this weekend after the mini-break of the Christmas period with a tight January schedule.

Juventus host Udinese on Sunday before taking on three of the top four this month, with six Serie A fixtures in addition to Italian Cup and Super Cup commitments.

The two Milan clubs -- the only teams apart from Juventus to have won the league in the past two decades -- are on top as they look to bring the title back to Lombardy.

AC Milan are flying high one point ahead of Antonio Conte's Inter with Roma in third, six points off second place.

Juventus are sixth, 10 points adrift of top spot, but having played a game less. After Udinese, Juventus visit AC Milan in the San Siro next Wednesday before hosting fourth-placed Sassuolo in Turin followed by a trip to play Inter.

Despite topping their Champions League group, Juventus have struggled for consistency on the domestic front, relying on Cristiano Ronaldo's goals. The Portuguese striker has scored 12 of Juventus's 25 league goals this campaign.

In the league, they have six draws and six wins, falling to their first league defeat of the season 3-0 to Fiorentina at home before Christmas.

"Sometimes it happens we're not 100 percent. Now we have to start again with desire, thinking about the mistakes we made and carrying out our project," said Pirlo.

The former Italy and Juventus star can take heart from the fact that in the 2015-2016 season, they were 12th after ten matches, but powered back to win the title.

 "It's premature to talk about the title," said Milan coach Stefano Pioli.

 "Juventus remain favourites, a team that in the last nine years have won as many titles and have many champions.

"But there is also Inter, who came within one point of Juve last year and spent a lot of money in the transfer market. In addition, Inter have no European commitments."

Both Milan teams return against two promoted clubs. AC Milan, without injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a seventh consecutive league game, look to continue their unbeaten run at midtable Benevento, as Inter Milan host struggling Crotone.

Behind the leaders, Roma host former coach Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria, who are in 11th.

Fourth-placed Sassuolo travel to Atalanta, in seventh, for a clash between two attacking teams targeting European football.

Fifth-placed Napoli look to end their three-match winless run at Cagliari, but without injured forward Dries Mertens, defender Kalidou Koulibaly and striker Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian having tested positive for Covid-19, having been sidelined since November with a shoulder injury.

52
Facebook 52
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail