Serie A's top two teams will square off on Sunday when Roma host Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico, and with the top two spots in the Italian league already decided, they will battle merely for honour and bragging rights.
Juventus have already secured the title and could choose to field a number of squad players, but the Bianconeri haven't beaten Roma at the Olimpico since 2011 and would love to break that streak.
The hosts on the other hand had won nine straight matches before Sunday's shock 4-1 loss at the hands of Catania, and the Giallorossi will be looking to get back on track as they seek to close out the season on a high.
Date: Sunday, May 11
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Two Very Different Clubs:
Despite what the Italian league table would suggest, Juventus and Roma are teams having gone through very different campaigns in 2013-14.
On one hand there's Roma, who exceeded expectations with a young team, free-flowing attacking football and a future much brighter than it was a year ago.
There's the new stadium, which Di Marzio collaborator David Amoyal thinks will bring the club even closer to the level of Juventus:
Said it many times one of Juve's biggest edges in Serie A is their homefield advantage, Roma is smart in wanting to build a new stadium— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) April 19, 2014
Perhaps even more exciting is the emergence of young players like Mattia Destro and Miralem Pjanic, who really stepped up in 2014 and look set to help the Giallorossi bombard Italian defences with goals for the foreseeable future.
On the other hand, there's Juventus. Despite celebrating their 30th Italian title (or 32nd, depending on who it is you're asking), the past season will be viewed as one of disappointment.
It all started with the snowstorm in Istanbul, which put paid to their Champions League hopes. That was followed by a number of lacklustre performances in the Europa League, culminating in the semi-final loss to Benfica.
In Serie A, Juventus managed to win matches without ever truly impressing.
In fact, per WhoScored.com, the Bianconeri haven't beaten an opponent by more than two goals since January. While winning is all that matters in Turin (it's the club's official motto), Juventus simply haven't been winning all that convincingly.
The futures of manager Antonio Conte and super-talent Paul Pogba are both very much up in the air, with the former refusing to commit his future at the club in front of the Sky Sports cameras, via football-italia.net:
We have always said, along with the club, that we’ll talk it over when the situation calms down and analyse every aspect. These have been three very intense and stressful years, so I thank the lads for their incredible efforts and tonight confirms their professionalism.
[...] I repeat, we have to evaluate everything in all aspects and we’ll see.
The latter meanwhile is seemingly linked with every major club in Europe, with Barcelona being the latest potential suitor according to El Mundo Deportivo:
Barça want to sign Kompany & Pogba this summer. Incoming boss Luís Enrique told board he wants to add power to side: pic.twitter.com/s1y2ctpzfK— Sam (@samuelj29060) May 7, 2014
As shared by Goal's Carlo Garganese, the Bianconeri will be without star midfielder Arturo Vidal, who chose to have surgery on his right meniscus ahead of the upcoming World Cup:
Arturo Vidal recovery from surgery could take as long as 12 weeks, say @GoalChile .That would be World Cup over. Would be another huge loss— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) May 6, 2014
The Bianconeri replaced Vidal and Andrea Pirlo with Claudio Marchisio and Simone Padoin for their 1-0 win over Atalanta, and Marchisio will almost certainly start in the team's midfield three alongside Pirlo and Pogba. For the Italian international, it will be one last chance to show Cesare Prandelli he deserves to be a part of the Italian XI in next month's World Cup.
Injuries and suspensions cost the Giallorossi against Catania, as Roma were without Destro, Radja Nainggolan, Federico Balzaretti and Mehdi Benatia. Benatia in particular was a painful loss, as the Moroccan has emerged as one of the top defenders in 2013-14.
In fact, Kicker reportedly claims the veteran centre-back is set to join Bayern Munich during the summer transfer window, according to these fans:
Kicker is reporting that Roma are willing to sell Benatia to FC Bayern for approx £20 mil— Global Bayern Fans (@BayernFansIntl) May 5, 2014
While neither team looks set to gain much from this match, a battle at the top of the table always brings out rivalry.
Will Juventus end the season with 100+ points?
Juventus in particular could choose to field a couple of squad players in an attempt to determine whether they are deserving of a spot in next year's team (Padoin, Federico Peluso, Sebastian Giovinco) while Roma could use a sweep of the Italian champions to propel them to glory next season.
Ultimately, this match could come down to whichever team wants it most, and you would be foolish to bet against Roma in that case. Juventus' season since the start of the New Year can be best described as "lacklustre," while Roma have been one of the hungriest, most exciting teams in Europe.
On Sunday, that should be rewarded with a win and a clean sweep of the once-dominant Bianconeri, who need just four more points out of their last two matches to cross the 100-point mark for the first time in Serie A history.