Juventus remain on course for a sixth successive Serie A title and third successive domestic double. The Old Lady sit top of Serie A after 20 fixtures with 48 points, a point clear of Roma. The champions’ four defeats this season have all come away from home against Inter, Milan, Genoa and most recently Fiorentina.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri changed the team’s formation to a 4-2-3-1 in order to fit Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandžukić, and Gonzalo Higuaín into the first eleven. The effects were immediate with Juventus securing a comfortable 2-0 home victory against fourth-placed Lazio on Sunday.
Allegri has handled the pressure of following Antonio Conte with two successive Serie A titles. This shift in formation from 3-5-2 to 4-2-3-1 represents a sizeable risk for a Juventus squad used to playing the same system. However, the risk could pay dividends if it can get the most out Higuaín who will rely on the creativity of Dybala and searing pace of Cuadrado out wide to create opportunities.
Juventus have taken a maximum of 33 points from their eleven home league fixtures this season. Allegri’s side took 14 points from a possible 18 in the Champions League group phases. Soon, they face two-time winners Porto in the last 16. According to bet365's Serie A odds, Juventus are at 2/9 to retain the Scudetto. They are priced at 40/1 to win a Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble.
The BBC of Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini continue to defy father time and make Juventus ruthless opponents at the season’s business end. The Old Lady’s defence have conceded just 16 Serie A goals.
Higuaín, who Juventus signed for £75.6m from Napoli last summer to break the Italian transfer record, has 14 Serie A goals this season and three goals in six Champions League games. The Argentine will hope to retain his Serie A Golden Boot from last season, although it will take an incredible feat to match the 36 Serie A goals he scored for Napoli.
Manduzikic has been integral to Juventus’ charge to the Serie A summit, with four goals and three assists in fourteen league appearances. The Croatian’s form has attracted interest from several Chinese Super League clubs, although he may spurn such advances in order to add more European medals to his already impressive collection, after a successful two-year spell at Bayern Munich.
World Cup winner Sami Khedira and Bosnian international Miralem Pjanić's graft in midfield provide a protective screen in front of the ageing defence and launch incisive attacks to the Old Lady's strike force.
Juventus face rivals AC Milan at the Juventus Stadium on Sunday March 12th, a few days before their second leg home clash with Porto in the Champions League. They face Napoli in April and Roma in May, both away. With just four points separating the top three sides, the Scudetto race could be decided on the season’s final day. Juventus face 10th placed Bologna away to end the Serie A season.