clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking at Juventus' upcoming season-defining four-week stretch

No pressure or anything, guys. Nothing to worry about. Not one bit. Everything is gonna be alright.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Thirty-two games in all competitions have come and gone thus far. Juventus have won many of them, lost just a few and frustrated a decent amount of the time. There are plenty of games left with plenty of chances to rack up points and continue the charge toward the home stretch of the season.

Even though Juve are well on their way to a fourth straight Serie A title, there's also this: Juventus' season will be defined by the next four weeks. Over that time period, Juventus will play seven games — four in Serie A, two against Borussia Dortmund and the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal tie against Fiorentina (the return leg being on April 8). Not just on the European stage, but also in Italy in two different competitions.

There'sseven simple steps for Juventus to get where we want them to get.

(Okay, maybe not 'simple,' but definitely seven games to try and do so. That's the only thing we know for sure at this point.)

There are no "easy games" in this upcoming seven-game stretch that has so much riding on each respective outcome. There are no games in Serie A where you simply assume three points will come hours before Juventus step on the field. There are teams Juventus have already drawn against on the schedule over the next month. There are tough games away from Juventus Stadium, tough ones at home, too.

And this is before we can even start discussing the Champions League implications that are at stake.

Of course, the two-legged tie against Dortmund is the main course during the next four weeks. So much rides on it — not just the fact that so much money is potentially at stake. Dortmund are dangerous regardless of how they're currently playing in domestic competition. It doesn't really matter where Dortmund are in the Bundesliga table right now. They've shown that they can flip the switch and be a quality team when there's a Champions League patch attached to their kit.

But let's think about it for a second here. Is Juventus not making it out of the round of 16 really something to consider a successful run in Europe? I wouldn't consider it all too great. It's easy to figure out that Juve are a step below the elite of the elite in Europe, but they're good enough to get to the quarterfinals, right?

Making it to the final eight in the Champions League is where Juventus should be aiming to get to at the very minimum with how much talent — in-form or not — that's currently on the roster. I would like to think a club like Juventus wouldn't be happy with bowing out of the Champions League in the first knockout round. I know I won't be happy about it.

And, of course, there's what standing in front of Juventus three days after the first leg against Dortmund.

The trip to the Stadio Olimpico and everything that comes with it is never easy. But beating Roma, which would push Juventus' Serie A lead to 10 points unless something whacky happens with either team this weekend, would begin the nail-in-Roma's-coffin process. Roma's second and final chance to play Juventus this season will be a make-or-break situation. They can either make a significant dent in Juventus' lead or almost certainly kiss any kind of title chances they once had finally goodbye.

Roma's clearly struggling these days, but you know Rudi Garcia, maybe even with his invisible violin in hand, will want to open up the Scudetto race once more heading into the final two months of the season.

Juventus' first-hand mistakes have already cost them more than once in recent weeks to extend their lead atop the Serie A table. Roma's form hasn't been anything special lately — with draws coming in five of their last six league games as well as getting eliminated from the Coppa Italia by Fiorentina.

No matter what happens, good or bad, we'll learn a lot about Juventus' season over the next four weeks. The schedule will be busy, the games will come at us fast and furious. The positive results will, hopefully, outweigh those that make us want to scream. This isn't the home stretch, but it's the most important stretch Juventus has had in months. It just comes with the territory of playing in games with so much at stake.