Juan Cuadrado says next week’s top-of-the-table clash against Napoli will mean much less if the champions fail to beat struggling Frosinone at the Stadio Comunale Matusa on Sunday.
Second-placed Juve trail Maurizio Sarri’s Serie A leaders by two points going into the weekend’s action after Cuadrado helped the champions to a 1-0 success at home to Genoa, setting a new club record for consecutive league wins in a single season of 13.
Victories for Juve and Napoli – who face Carpi on Sunday – would set their meeting at the Juventus Stadium up nicely in the context of the title race.
But Massimiliano Allegri’s men were held at home 1-1 by Frosinone in September as the visitors claimed their first Serie A point in Turin.
And with Sami Khedira (thigh) and Mario Mandzukic (hip) doubtful, Cuadrado says all focus needs to be on the trip south this weekend.
“Undoubtedly our meeting with Napoli will be huge and possibly decisive for the title race, but it will lose most of its value if we don’t beat Frosinone,” the Colombian said in an interview with Sky and Mediaset.
“These are exactly the kind of games that can trip you up. For that reason, we’ll need to approach it with the same desire and will to win that we have shown in the last two months or so.
“Both we and Napoli are in excellent form, but the fact is that they are still ahead of us. It’s up to us to catch them and we will only do that by remaining calm and by concentrating on our own results. We only have eyes for Frosinone at the moment.”
Juve’s visit offers another stern test for Roberto Stellone’s men, who sit in 19th place, five points off safety.
Federico Dionisi’s late penalty ensured the points against 10-man Bologna in midweek and former Torino and Napoli striker Stellone is eager to make a dent in Juve’s title hopes.
“I am a former Torino and Napoli player and I would love to do a favour to my former team in the title race and of course bring joy to the supporters of Frosinone,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“It certainly will not be easy, because Juventus are the form team of the championship.
“They have not won their last 13 games in Serie A by chance but we have great confidence, the most recent win has restored confidence and enthusiasm here.”
Key Opta Stats
– Juve have won their last seven away games, scoring at least two goals per game (21 in total).
– The Bianconeri have conceded only one goal since the start of 2016 – at least three fewer than any other side.
– Frosinone got back to winning ways last Wednesday against Bologna, ending a negative run of eight games without success.
– Juventus have the best defence in Serie A (15 goals conceded) while Frosinone have the worst (48).
– Frosinone have recorded the worst passing accuracy in this Serie A at just 70 per cent