By Adrian Agius.
The funny thing about football is that the best side doesn’t always win. The funnier thing about Juventus’ Coppa Italia ties against Lazio was that this was actually the case on two separate occasions. The Bianconeri bow out of this year’s competition after Lazio stunned the Serie A league leaders 2-1 at the Stadio Olympico in dramatic fashion.
So with a potential treble off the cards, Conte will have added incentive to bring home another Scudetto and of course the title of Champions of Europe. Although, following Juve’s latest exploits (or lack of exploits) in the recent January transfer window, one would feel that The Old Lady haven’t really improved their credentials with regards to the latter of these two competitions.
Sure, Conte still has the best squad in all of Italy, which is still leading the Serie A, but does the squad of players submitted for the Champions League have the ability to go all the way? Probably not.
The addition of Nicolas Anelka, Federico Peluso and Jose Cevallos are, in ways, welcome additions; but by no means are they players Juventus should be relying on to bring home results.
We must remember that Fernando Llorente is arriving in Turin next year. The Spanish International is a huge step in the right direction for the Bianconeri, but he is, in essence, rendered useless this season.
Many of you are adamant that Juventus’ signings in the summer window are more than sufficient for the season. Don’t get me wrong, Asamoah, Isla, Caceres, Giovinco and the rest were fantastic buys. But fans have to remember: For every window Juve fail to move in, the clubs around Juve will draw closer in strength, like AC Milan and Mario Balotelli have.
This business of not acting big during the winter window will eventually catch up to Juve. It needs to change.
Chievo welcome the Bianconeri this week. Drawing in controversial circumstances with Genoa last week has the Bianconeri hungry for victory. The lead at the top is down to just three points, but Juventus have established an impressive away record in the league this season—averaging two goals a game on the road.
With Napoli chasing hard, nothing less than a win will suffice for Juve. Juventus will be without Mirko Vucinic, Giorgio Chiellini, Antonio Conte and Leonardo Bonucci for Sunday’s Serie A trip to Chievo following the fallout from the Genoa clash.