Roma vs Juventus: Match preview
Juventus will be back in familiar territory as they return to the Stadio Olimpico following Wednesday night’s 4-0 TIM Cup Final win against Milan. Medhi Benatia opened the scoring in the 56th minute when his powerful header thumped home, it was 2-0 five minutes later, as Douglas Costa unleashed a powerful low-angled drive that Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Milan goal palmed into the back of his net. Benatia again got on the scoresheet as Donnarumma was again at fault when he fumbled Mario Mandzukic’s header and the Moroccan was able to pounce to tap in. The Bianconeri wrapped things up in the 76th minute as Nikola Kalinic inadvertently nodded in Miralem Pjanic’s corner to help hand Juve an unprecedented 13th Coppa Italia title.
Last time out in the league, the Old Lady beat Bologna 3-1 at the Allianz Stadium. The away side lead at the end of the first half thanks to Daniele Verdi’s 30th minute penalty, but Juve got back into it five minutes after the restart when Sebastien De Maio turned Juan Cuadrado’s cross into his own net. La Vecchia Signora turned the tie around in the 61st, as Sami Khedira tapped home Douglas Costa’s cross from deep, and then well and truly cemented the turn around when Paulo Dybala side-footed in Costa’s low ball in from the left.
Juve’s win coupled with Napoli’s 2-2 draw at home to Torino at the weekend means that the Bianconeri need just one point from their remaining two fixtures, to be crowned Serie A Champions for the seventh consecutive season.
ROMA AIMING TO CEMENT TOP 4
After Roma’s near amazing comeback against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals, the Giallorossi will be looking to ensure their place in Europe’s premier competition once again next season.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s team currently sit in 3rd place in the table on 73 points and need one win from their remaining two games to be absolutely certain of landing a Champions League spot. Their current form suggests they’ll have what it takes to make it with seven wins in their last 10, including their last four. In their last game, they beat Cagliari 0-1 away from home with Turkish winger, Cengiz Under scoring the all-important goal in the 15th minute.
LAST TIME VS ROMA
When the two sides met at the end of 2017, the match at the Allianz Stadium proved to be a tense end-to-end affair, with only one goal separating the two sides. Former Roma player, Benatia scored the game’s only goal in the 17th minute after Giorgio Chiellini’s header from a corner was brilliantly kept out by Alisson Becker, and then again as he touched Benatia’s follow-up onto the crossbar but could do nothing about the third attempt which fell to the feet of Benatia to score.
Roma then went close in the second half, as Alessandro Florenzi hit the crossbar after connecting on a cross, then in the 90th minute Pjanic led a counter-attack and unleashed a drive at goal that came off the visitor’s crossbar. In the dying seconds a defensive mix-up led to former Juve target, Patrik Schick going through on goal, but Wojciech Szczesny got down to deny the Czech Republic forward and ensure all three points remained intact.
#ROMAJUVE MATCH STATS
- The only other time these two sides have played each other on the 37th matchday was back in the 2013/14 season, with Juve winning 0-1 courtesy of a Dani Osvaldo goal.
- The Bianconeri have 24 goals in their last 25 vs the Giallorossi, scoring a combined 47 goals.
- La Vecchia Signora are unbeaten in their last 12 away matches, winning 10 and drawing twice.
- Juve have a shots-to-goal ratio percentage of 21.5% this season, a Serie A record.
- Roma’s Cengiz Under has seven goals in his last eight Serie A appearances.
- Aleksandar Kolarov has the most assists for a defender in the championship with eight.
- Edin Dzeko has hit the woodwork six times this season, more than any other player.
- Eight of Juve’s last 11 goals have involved Douglas Costa.
- Massimiliano Allegri has equalled his record points total in Serie A, having picked up 91 points to match his totals in 2017 and 2016 with Juventus.
- Allegri’s record against Di Francesco stands at six wins, two draws, one defeat.