For the past 3 years, Juventus has maintained a strong grip on scudetto. Their domination of Serie A has been complete, winning the league titles by commendable margins. In between, they also went one entire season undefeated, no mean feat in any league. Some may have felt that the departure of Antonio Conte may loosen their grip on scudettoas a new manager will take time to settle and implement his ideas. But, Juventus under new manager Allegeri has started season better than they did under Conte. After 5 rounds, they have a perfect record and are yet to concede a single goal in the league so far. Had it not been for Atletico Madrid’s mid-week goal against them in the Champions League, Old Lady would have been going into this game against Roma with a perfect defensive record in all competitions.
Last year Roma did put up a brave fight against Juventus especially early in the season. In the beginning of the season, they were leading the table for almost one third of the season. But eventually Juventuscaught them and once Juventus went top, they never relinquished their position. They ultimately claimed their 3rd successive title, doing double over Roma in the process. Will it be a different story this year? Signs are that Roma looks a much better team this year than the last. Overall one might say that they have fared better than Juventus as they haven’t lost in any of the competitive games so far. They have surely done better than Juve in Europe – winning at home against CKSA Moscow and then drawing away at Manchester City. Like Juventus, Roma also has an enviable defensive record in Serie A – conceding just one goal so far.
On paper, this is a title defining game, a proverbial 6 pointer between title favourites. But unfortunately, this game is coming so early in the season that neither Juve nor Roma would lose their sleep if they were to drop points. As neither team will have the motivation to go for the kill, we may see a drab game where both the sides are willing to share a point. But given the fact that Juve is playing at home and the massive talent that they possess, I expect Juve to win 1-0.