Before the season even began, Juventus were crowned by most as the next champions of the Italian Serie A, making it a repeat. Despite going into the winter break with a comfortable 8 point lead, it look like Lazio and possibly Napoli as well aren’t going away.
When you look at Juventus’ record against the “big” teams, either Inter and Milan in the sense of traditional rivals or Lazio and Napoli as the two teams closest to them in the title race, things don’t look as easy as they should have been after Juve were pretty much the only team to do a serious upgrade during the summer, although missing out on the position they coveted.
Whenever they don’t win, which has been the last two matches (losing to Sampdoria, draw with Parma), the striker questions comes up. Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri are good players, but not really reliable when it comes to goal scoring.
Juventus have lost to Milan and Inter, drawn with Lazio and Fiorentina. They have beaten Napoli and Roma, and have gone almost flawlessly through the rest of the league, entering the winter break on the back of four consecutive wins and their success in the Champions League against Shakhtar and Chelsea, claiming the top spot in a very tough group.
Their schedule leading up to the next stage in the UCL isn’t too hard: Three home matches (Udinese, Genoa, Fiorentina) and one away trip to Chievo. Could be worse. What comes after, with away trips to Roma and Napoli and a bit further down the line, playing Inter, Lazio and Milan in consecutive weeks should be the stretch of matches that decide how Juventus end up this season.
It seems sometimes that only when really challenged early do Juventus players put up a fight and turn it up a notch, almost bored by feeling that they’re much better than the rest of the division. With that kind of attitude and that kind of recent form, there won’t be any repeat for a team that seems more worried about restoring their position as one of the biggest clubs in Europe than claiming multiple titles in the domestic league.