Beyond the known football clichés resides the truth – big matches, even against the biggest of rivals, are only worth three points, especially when there’s more than half a season to go in the Italian Serie A. Any result in the Juventus – Roma clash, ‘Match of the Season’ in Italy, will have a big impact on the title race, but it won’t decide anything.
The important thing is continuity, consistency and maybe in a more micro version of looking at things, the way you respond to a result in this match. Juventus winning might open an 8 point lead between them and Roma at the top of the table. For some that seems like the title is just within reach for Juventus, but we’d still have 20 matches to go. This Juve side, dropping only four points so far in Italy, seems to be a cut above the rest this season (and for the last two) but are they truly that strong they can avoid a collapse that brings Roma or even Napoli back into the title race? Won’t being a bit too confident harm them in some way, although without Champions League football to keep them grounded (only the Europa League left to play for) things do seem a lot easier.
Roma winning? This opens everything up, but it won’t matter if they continue dropping points at an alarming rate, drawing five times over the last seven matches. You can afford one stretch like that during the season if you bounce back to the Juventus rate of acquiring points. However, winning in Turin has proven to be quite difficult for the Giallorossi in the past, so it’s not recommended to bank on it.
Juventus hold a distinct advantage in this clash, winning 48% out of the 166 league meetings between the two teams. Roma have won only 39 times, less than half the wins Juventus have. The midfield battle will be very interesting, as the Daniele De Rossi, Miralem Pjanic and Kevin Strootman trio battle it out with the Juventus trio of Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo (probably). However, even if Roma manage to stun Juventus like they did with Inter and Napoli, it won’t really matter if Juventus get right back on the horse and win nine consecutive matches like they have since losing to Fiorentina.