26.05.2017 16:00 - in: Serie A S

      Bologna vs Juventus: Match Preview

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      Juventus.com provides all the key info ahead of the Bianconeri’s last league game of the 2016/17 season

      When Bologna host the Bianconeri

      With 10 wins and five victories in their last 15 outings at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, history certainly favours Juventus heading into this fixture.

      You have to trace back all the way to November 1998 for the Bianconeri’s last league defeat away to Bologna. Since then, their only Serie A loss to Sunday’s opponents came at home in February 2011.

      You might remember certain away days such as the 4-1 win in May 2001, featuring David Trezeguet’s brace or the narrow 1-0 victory in December 2004 thanks to Pavel Nedved’s late winner. Juve’s Czech maestro stole the show again in October 2008, scoring twice en route to another triumph in Emilia-Romagna.

      In more recent times, Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio sealed a crucial three points in March 2013 that boosted the Bianconeri’s successful title bid for a second successive league title. Then in December that year, Arturo Vidal and Giorgio Chiellini struck to put Juve in pole position for the third of their now legendary winning cycle in Italy’s top tier. 

      Last season, Roberto Donadoni’s men succeeded in halting Juve’s run of 15 straight Serie A wins with a 0-0 draw, but Massimiliano Allegri’s charges dropped no further points between then and sealing Scudetto no. 34.

      This time, they already arrive at the Renato Dall’Ara as champions, but nonetheless keen to end their domestic campaign on a high, with one eye on next weekend’s Champions League final against Real Madrid in Cardiff.

      Shaping up to Saturday

      Last Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Crotone of course confirmed the Bianconeri’s sixth consecutive Serie A title – an unprecedented feat in Italian football.

      That had followed a slight wobble in league results – draws against Atalanta and Torino before an away loss to Roma – but Juve, in truth, were always in control of their destiny to making legend a reality and never looked like surrendering top spot – a position they have held every single day since 21 September.

      Bologna, by contrast, have remained in mid-table for the vast majority of the season. What has prevented the Rossoblù from getting sucked into a particularly serious relegation battle is their form in front of their home support.

      Coincidentally, they started 2016/17 with three straight wins at the Renato Dall’Ara and victory this Sunday would see them end the campaign in the same fashion, having beaten both Udinese (4-0) and Pescara (3-1) in recent weeks.

      Main men to monitor

      Undoubtedly the star of the show in January’s 3-0 home win over Bologna with a goal either side of half-time, Gonzalo Higuain will be eager to get his name on the scoresheet again this Saturday.

      Pipita needs one more strike to equal Omar Sivori’s record of 25 Serie A strikes in a single season.

      Alex Sandro was on target last Sunday by heading in at the death – in many ways the cherry on the cake for Juve’s and the Brazilian full-back’s season.

      But there’s potentially more for ‘AS’ to celebrate this weekend. Should he play in Bologna, he’ll bring up his half-century of appearances for Juventus.

      Mattia Destro is very much man of the moment for the Rossoblù. The former Roma and Milan forward has five goals in his last five games (he tops his team’s scoring charts with 11 league strikes). Destro, however, has yet to find the net in a career nine matches against the Bianconeri.

      Elsewhere, Czech midfielder Ladislav Krejci has weighed in with the most assists (eight) and crosses (131) for the Rossoblù this season, while Italian defender Domenico Maietta leads the way for defensive clearances (123), shots blocked (16), interceptions (79) and number of passes (1,293).

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