League titles have already been decided in England, Germany and France, while Barcelona are expected to be crowned LaLiga champions this weekend, leaving the Serie A race as the most exciting among Europe’s elite.
Juventus are chasing a seventh consecutive Scudetto but they are being hunted down by Napoli, with Maurizio Sarri’s side trying to win the league for the first time since the 1989-1990 season, when Diego Maradona’s goals fired them to glory.
The battle between the two clubs has been in the balance for much of the season, with Napoli’s 1-0 win in Turin last weekend ensuring they are just a point behind Juventus with four rounds of Serie A games still to play.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri believes Napoli are Scudetto favourites because of their fixtures, but is he right? Here, we take a look at the matches each contender has remaining.
Matchweek 35 – Inter v Juventus, Fiorentina v Napoli
Both teams face testing trips this weekend, with Juventus away to Inter on Saturday before Napoli travel to Fiorentina a day later. Inter have won only one of their last 10 Serie A games against Juventus, but Allegri’s team have lost their last two away matches against the Nerazzurri in all competitions. Inter are a point outside the Champions League places, so they have plenty to play for. Napoli, meanwhile, have only lost one of their most recent 15 league meetings with Fiorentina, who start the weekend ninth. The reverse fixture earlier in the season was a 0-0 draw, a result that could be damaging for Sarri’s side.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 27, 2018
Matchweek 36 – Juventus v Bologna, Napoli v Torino
Juventus play first again next weekend and they have only lost once in their last 30 matches against Bologna in all competitions, so Allegri’s men will be confident of taking all three points. Bologna are well clear of the relegation zone with little to play for. Next Sunday, Napoli host mid-table Torino, against whom they have won nine of the last 10 meetings. Napoli have won each of their last four home league games against Torino and they have scored 2.8 goals per game on average in that run. Both title contenders should win their games in this round.
We did it!!!!!!
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) April 22, 2018
Coppa Italia final – Juventus v AC Milan
While Napoli have a clear week before the last two rounds, Juventus play the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan on May 9. Another domestic double is in sight for Allegri, but he will have to decide which matches to prioritise if he is to keep his key players fresh throughout the run-in. Juventus have won the Coppa Italia title in each of the last three seasons, with the Rossoneri out for revenge after their defeat in the 2016 final.
Matchweek 37 – Roma v Juventus, Sampdoria v Napoli
Perhaps the toughest match Juventus have still to play is away to Roma on the penultimate weekend. Eusebio Di Francesco’s men could be out of the Champions League by then – barring another miraculous comeback against Liverpool – but they have work to do if they are to qualify for the tournament again next season. Juventus have won more Serie A games (80) against Roma than anyone else, but on their last two league visits to the capital they have been beaten. Napoli play Sampdoria and they have not lost this fixture since May 2010, winning 10 and drawing three games since then. On paper, this has the potential to be the weekend the title race turns in Napoli’s favour.
FT | #JuveRoma
Benatia’s first-half strike wins it for the hosts, as Florenzi hits the bar and Schick sees a late chance saved by Szczesny. pic.twitter.com/AAbTuNoBu6
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 23, 2017
Matchweek 38 – Juventus v Verona, Napoli v Crotone
The final weekend sees both Juventus and Napoli hosting relegation-threatened teams, although the bottom three may well have been decided by then. Juventus play Verona, with the Bianconeri losing just one of the last 11 league meetings between the sides. Verona are six points adrift of safety with four games to play, so could be consigned to the drop by the time they head to Turin. Crotone sit just above the relegation zone now, but they have lost each of their last three Serie A meetings against Napoli. If Sarri’s men lead the table heading into the last round, they will surely not slip up. But results can be unpredictable at this stage of the season and there will likely be twists and turns before either Allegri or Sarri can celebrate.
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