Whatever your plans are for this weekend, you should definitely free yourself on Saturday evening and make room for Serie A’s biggest game of the season, Juventus vs. Roma. The Italian league leaders and Serie A champions will be facing their only rival; they could either settle it now or make the league more interesting to watch.
Juventus have been dominating the Serie A scene for quite some time now. Roma and Napoli’s attempts at changing that have failed miserably in recent years. Juve have simply been on another level, unrivalled and unmatched. Today, many of Serie A’s teams will be watching and cheering for Roma in hopes of a change. A change that can give teams like Napoli, Inter, Milan and even Lazio hope in winning future Scudetti. This Saturday it won’t be just Roma against Juve. It will be much more than that.
Francesco Totti and Gianluigi Buffon continue to lead the two sides, it might be the last time those two legends meet in case both were fielded. Buffon has won many scudetti but Totti will be hoping to win his second before he bows out. Another rivalry presents itself in the midfield Miralem Pjanic vs. Radja nainggolan. The two established a great partnership and friendship while at Roma but Pjanic’s move to Turin has changed everything and the best friends are suddenly rivals. Radja is still bitter about it, he feels abandoned.
What could we expect from the game? Plenty of action, more tactics and less goals. Juventus, as one would imagine, boast the best defense in Serie A (14 goals conceded). Roma, are not too far behind though (16 goals conceded). The Giallorossi go into this game with the confidence after keeping back-to-back clean sheets in big games against Lazio and Milan. They are much more solid since Antonio Rüdiger’s return from an ACL tear: with him back in the team, Roma have allowed just five goals in seven games. Without him, it’s 11 goals in nine games.
On the other hand, Roma’s attack (36 goals scored) is slightly better than that of Juventus (35 goals scored). In fact, Roma haven’t scored this many goals at this point of a season since 1934. Last season’s flop Edin Dzeko has scored 12 goals so far while last season’s Capocannoniere Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus’ €90 million Serie A record-breaking signing from Napoli has scored nine. Dzeko scored in Roma’s win against Juve last season, he has all the reasons to believe in his abilities this weekend especially considering his current form.
The Bianconeri remain favorites, after all, winning five Scudetti in a row has killed the hopes of other teams. However, Juventus are not invincible, they have lost three games already. The task for Roma will be a near impossible one, Juve have only lost 3 Serie A games in 5 years at the J Stadium and have won all their last 24 games at the stadium. This is the biggest game of the weekend in Europe. Juve remain the team to beat and Roma are yet to prove otherwise.