Juventus need result at Lazio to stop the rot

A soccer ball on the field.
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Juventus’ Serie A title challenge is all but over, with Inter Milan strolling to the Scudetto, and defeat at Lazio this weekend would further damage their battle for Champions League football.

Last season, Juventus missed out on European football completely. First, they were docked 10 points in a case regarding the club’s player transfers.

This meant they dropped out of the top four and down to seventh, but they were also denied a Europa Conference League place after being banned over breaches of UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play rules.

Now, it is their dramatic drop in form that puts their Champions League participation next season in danger, something that seemed a mere formality until recently.

For a brief moment in January, Juventus held the top spot while Inter Milan were busy winning the Super Cup, but two months later, Juve found themselves 17 points adrift of the leaders.

A terrible run of just one win in eight league games has not only ended their title hopes, but they have slipped to third place and need to stop the rot to avoid falling further.

In the same period, AC Milan have gained 10 points on Juve to move into second with a three-point advantage, and unless Massimiliano Allegri’s side can get back to winning ways, they risk allowing others to overtake them.

Bologna in fourth are 5 points behind, with AS Roma a further three adrift, but recent form would suggest they are both capable of closing the gap.

Since Daniele De Rossi took over from Jose Mourinho, Roma have lost one league game to Inter and racked up seven wins from nine, while Bologna have won seven out of eight.

Juventus take on Lazio under new management on Saturday, with Igor Tudor now in charge after Maurizio Sarri’s resignation. The Croatian spent the majority of his playing career at Juventus and was assistant manager there in 2020.

Tudor’s first game in charge pits him against his old club, and a good start for the Croatian will pile even more pressure on Allegri’s side, who are without the suspended Dusan Vlahovic.

Milan are at Fiorentina on Saturday for what will be an emotional evening in Florence following the recent death of their GM, Joe Barone.

Defending champions Napoli look to continue their unbeaten run in the league under Francesco Calzona when they host Atalanta on Saturday. A win for Napoli would see them leapfrog Atalanta, who are sixth. Inter’s 10-game winning streak in the league came to an end in their draw with Napoli, but with no real damage done to their title ambitions, and on Monday they host relegation battling Empoli.