We’re almost to the point where we can count the number of Serie A games remaining on just one single hand. That usually means that a title is relatively close to being decided. And with the time of the year being what it currently is, it also means that we get to hear Max Allegri do some quick math and throw around potential point totals at any given handful of his pre-match press conferences.
It was no different on Tuesday.
“Right now, we have 84 points which in other seasons would be very close to a Scudetto but this year it’s not…Napoli has a great chance to break their record of 87 points, as Sarri has said, and are still there fighting for the championship…meanwhile, before Naples – I repeat – we must beat Crotone.”
Max wants a win over Crotone, and that’s what Juventus will damn well have to do then.
Of the six games Juventus has remaining, it’s today’s game against a Crotone side that currently sits in 18th place as the spot where Allegri’s squad must take all three points. I get that there’s a nice little amount of breathing room between Juve and second-place Napoli now after this past weekend’s proceedings, but dropping points against a relegation battler for the second straight time — everybody have flashbacks to the scoreless draw against SPAL ... now! — is something that is very, very much considered less than ideal.
That’s especially true when Napoli themselves are waiting in the wings and making travels plans for a trip to Turin this weekend.
Keeping the lead atop the Serie A table at six points at the very least is the goal here. I don’t think it’s all that difficult to figure that out. It’s the time of year where we start to countdown the amount of points and/or wins needed to clinch another Scudetto. It’s about taking care of your own business and then seeing what the next closest team has done either later that day or the next.
Juventus are close — and can get closer with another win against Crotone. And when you consider that it’s first place against a team that, if the season ended after this round, would get relegated down to Serie B, then the odds are in Juventus’ favor.
If that means another three points, then let’s get it done.
Three points in the back pocket on the way back to Turin. Three points closer to having another Scudetto-lifting party in a couple of weeks at Juventus Stadium. (We like those.)
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Lichtsteiner, Rugani, Benatia, Alex Sandro; Marchisio, Matuidi, Sturaro; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Dybala
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Chiellini, Howedes, Barzagli, Asamoah, Khedira, Bentancur, Cuadrado, Bernardeschi
Crotone starting XI (4-3-3): Cordaz; Faraoni, Ceccherini, Capuano, Martella; Stoian, Barberis, Mandragora; Rohden, Simy, Diaby
When: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Where: Stadio Ezio Scida, Crotone, Italy
Kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America (Canada); BT Sport 3 (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online/Mobile: beIN SPORTS CONNECT, fuboTV (United States); DAZN Canada, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); Premium Play, SKY Go Italia, Eleven Sports Italy (Italy)
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