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Verona v Juventus: Ogbonna seeks strong Champions League warm-up

Angelo Ogbonna has urged Juventus to finish their Serie A season in style as Massimiliano Allegri’s men play their final warm-up for the UEFA Champions League final at Verona on Saturday.

May has proved a month to remember for Juve, who clinched a fourth straight league title as well as the Coppa Italia against Lazio.

The Turin club have the chance to complete a famous treble when they go up against Spanish champions Barcelona – who themselves are aiming to win the treble – on June 6.

Before then, though, Juve have to complete their domestic campaign and centre-back Ogbonna is keen to put on a show.

“We are already preparing for June 6,” Ogbonna told Juve’s official website. “We want to have a good match against Verona to end our season in the best possible way before looking towards the Champions League final.”

Ogbonna pin-pointed two moments that have defined Juve’s season, adding: “There’s the Coppa Italia, which we finally won after 20 years with a great final and a great semi-final against Fiorentina in Florence.

“Perhaps that was the real turning point of the season, along with the away win in the league against Napoli [a 3-1 victory in January].”

Few would back against Juve finishing off their season strongly, considering they have lost just three times in the league this season.

Moreover Juve have beaten Verona – who are 13th – twice already this season, a 6-1 battering in the Coppa Italia on January 15 was followed by a comprehensive 4-0 in the league just three days later.

However, the Bentegodi has proved a difficult ground for Juve, with the club’s last two visits both finishing 2-2 – including last season in Verona’s first season back in Serie A.

Carlos Tevez has proved the thorn in Verona’s side in recent times scoring five times in three league encounters against them, but it remains to be seen if Allegri will risk Juve’s top scorer ahead of the Champions League final.

The Argentina international will likely to want to feature as his tally of 20 league goals is only bettered by Verona’s Luca Toni in the Serie A goalscoring charts.

Toni, who has 21 goals, has rolled back the years at 38 and, with rumours of a move to Syndey FC in Australia’s A League, finishing as the league’s top scorer could yet prove a fitting send off.

Thu 28 May, 2015
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