In the four or so years this blog has been around, I've always wondered what exactly to say in the final match preview of the season. Luckily we've known that every one of those seasons have involved Juventus winning a title. And luckily for me, the last few seasons, the last Serie A match of the season hasn't been the last time Juve have played before everybody goes their separate ways for the summer.
Last season it was the Champions League final against Barcelona that occupied all of our thoughts even though Juve still had one league game to play. This time around, the Coppa Italia final against Milan and the chance to claim a domestic double for the second straight year is what awaits all of us in the not-so-distant horizon.
There is still a game to be played after the game we're going to be watching in a little less than 24 hours. But first, we have a final Serie A game to play. And then there will be a party. You know, a party that involves Gianluigi Buffon hoisting a trophy above his head for the fourth straight season because he's the captain and there's nothing you can do about it.
This the final part of what has been a 38-round roller coast ride. Did some of think that this day, one that involves another Scudetto being presented to the players and management, was not going to be possible back after that loss to Sassuolo in October? Maybe, maybe not. But here we are putting the cherry on top of another title-winning season.
The journey to this point hasn't been easy by any means. Yet, you look at the end product, remember that Juve were a complete mess the first six weeks of the season and then look at the current plus-50 (!!!!) goal differential and just sit there in complete amazement. At least that's what I do from time to time. It's only natural.
So, instead of yammering about what happened last weekend at the Bentigodi against Hellas Verona, let's make sure to remember what Juventus had to do this season to keep its spot atop the Serie A mountain for another season. This wasn't one of those years where everything was easy for this club and they just cruised from start to finish.
They overcame major adversity. Major, major adversity. And that's why when looking at the five straight titles Juve have won, this one might very well be my favorite one. And we get to celebrate it on Saturday. Good times.
Juventus will be presented with the Scudetto for a fifth consecutive home finale. I don't know about you all, but I definitely like when Juve win things that are shiny and are also called trophies. They are cool.
Last Serie A game of the season, which means it's almost the summer. And summer means it's transfer rumors galore. And transfer rumors galore means we're going to lose our minds. And losing our minds means ... you get the picture.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. Who sits? Who plays?
For the first time in a long time, Max Allegri pretty much told us what his entire starting lineup is.
Okay, looks pretty good from here. Onto the next one.
2. Paulo Dybala's last (Serie A) hurrah
As it stands now, the only thing left to determine on the Serie A scoring leaders list is who's finishing second behind Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain. It's been like that for a pretty good amount of time, too, so this isn't breaking news. But with Allegri declaring that Dybala will play, then there's one last chance for our Argentine jewel to break the tie between himself and AC Milan's Carlos Bacca. Both strikers are on 17 league goals. There's one game to play, which means they don't have any more chances to add to their tally after this weekend. The good news in all of this is that Sampdoria's defense is statistically one of the worst in Serie A this season, allowing 56 goals in 37 games. And seeing as Dybala has been playing pretty well lately, that seems like a good recipe for something to possibly happen. There would be no better way for him to cap this impressive first season in Turin than to bag another goal or two. The boy does fave a flare for the dramatic, too, I might add...
3. Is there anything else to talk about?
I don't think so. It's the final game of the season, Juventus has won the Scudetto and Allegri pretty much told us everybody who is playing from the opening whistle on Saturday. I'm pretty sure one of the most important things all of us are hoping takes place at Juventus Stadium is that nobody gets hurt — especially with the Coppa Italia next weekend.
So we're done here. I'll see everybody tomorrow.
My starting lineup
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Neto; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Juan Cuadrado, Roberto Pereyra, Hernanes, Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra; Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic
TV: RAI International (United States and Canada); ESPN UK/HD (United Kingdom); Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online: beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A. (United States); SKY Go Italia (Italy)
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