The final Saturday of fixtures from the 2019/20 Serie A season will be played on the opening weekend of August and followers of Italian football have an exciting round to look forward to as clubs battle for position in the European places while others fight to distance themselves from the relegation zone. It may be matchday 38 but it’s all on the line this weekend.
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Juventus sign off from what has been another successful season with a home tie against Roma and although the locals have already secured their league trophy and don’t need to push for the win, the Old Lady are expected to finish on a high. Roma are tasked with trying to spoil the party as the visiting side drive at a fifth-place finish and spot in next season’s Europa League.
Saturday’s game will be the third meeting of Juventus and Roma this season after the rivals met in Serie A and Coppa Italia. Juve won on both occasions, scoring a hard-fought 2-1 away win in the league on 12 January before winning 3-1 in the cup at the same venue just 10 days later. Will the locals complete the treble or can Roma gain revenge?
Juve champions again
Juventus have dominated Italian football in recent times and were good enough to finish top of Serie A and claim yet another league title. The home team have now been crowned champions of Italy in each of the last nine seasons and are showing no signs of slowing down. It has been predicted by many lovers of this division that Juve will go from strength to strength and continue what has been a remarkable winning run. Fans are delighted with the club’s domestic form, but the pressure is now on manager Maurizio Sarri to deliver success in the Champions League.
Heading into the final week Juventus had won 26 of their 36 previous games with 5 draws and 5 defeats. The most recent of those losses came earlier this month when losing 2-1 away to Udinese in what was a shock result and upset for the formbook. It was a match Juve were expected to win at a canter and they took the lead through de Ligt just before the half-time interval, but the players appeared too comfortable with that lead and took their eye off the ball. Goals from Nestorovski and Fofana turned the game in Udinese’s favour.
Juventus made an important return to winning ways next time out when beating Sampdoria 2-0 last weekend. The pressure was on to get all three points after that surprise loss to Udinese and the players were able to do just that. Cristiano Ronald was once again the goal hero when giving his men the lead deep into added time at the end of the first-half before Bernardeschi made sure with a second goal on 67 minutes. A comfortable outing and the performance showed the Juventus squad are focused on finishing the season strongly. A drop in standard will not be accepted.
Roma put six past SPAL
Roma finished last season down in sixth place and fans had hoped to see their side improve on that and push for a Champions League finish this term. They missed out on the top four once again but are able to move up a place and finish fifth. Their stats heading into the week read 19 wins and 7 draws against 10 defeats with 71 goals scored and 48 conceded. Taking a closer look at those numbers we notice Roma have scored only four less than champions Juventus but have suffered double the number of defeats.
The visiting side arrives with confidence in their ranks following an eye-catching run of form that has pushed them into fifth ahead of AC Milan and Napoli but trailing fourth-placed Lazio by nine points. The Yellow and Reds suffered a disappointing draw at home to Inter Milan earlier this month in a game that will be remembered as two points dropped rather than one gained, Lukaku scoring a late penalty for Inter in that one.
Roma made a quickfire return to winning ways when hammering SPAL 6-1 away from home in their next outing with two of those goals scored by da Silva Peres. They followed that astonishing win up with victory over Fiorentina at home last Sunday, battling to a narrow but deserved 2-1 win. Both goals were scored by Veretout and both came from the penalty spot. Fiorentina kept things competitive with a strike of their own from Milenkovic early in the second half but lacked the composure needed to get themselves level.
Juventus vs Roma prediction
Juventus are free from the pressures of having to win this match and that means they can go out and enjoy the occasion, sealing their title with a strong performance. Everyone connected to the club will want to finish on a high and beat Roma to send out a warning shot to their rivals ahead of next season when they go for 10 Serie A titles in-a-row. The home team’s best performance could be enough to ensure the points.
Roma arrive in great form and have the confidence to spare following that thumping win over SPAL earlier this month. If Juventus rest their top players or take their eye off the ball knowing the title is already won, then Roma are good enough to make them pay a hefty price. The away team will be eager to spoil the party by taking three points away with them. This should be a fascinating 90 minutes with both teams shooting for the victory.
Serie A odds
The pre-match betting attached to this Serie A game has Juventus as odds favourites to claim a home win. Juventus is at 13/10 to win or the draw has been chalked up at 53/20. Bettors who fancy the chances of Roma grabbing another victory will be encouraged by the 19/10 available.