News ID: 240954
Published: 0201 GMT April 05, 2019

Juventus poised to win eighth straight Serie A title in record time

Juventus poised to win eighth straight Serie A title in record time
MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP

Champion Juventus turns its focus to nailing down an eighth consecutive Serie A title in record time this weekend.

Juventus could win the league title with seven games to spare – the earliest any team has ever sealed Serie A – if it beats AC Milan on Saturday and nearest challenger Napoli loses at home to Genoa on Sunday, AFP reported.

The Turin giant has an 18-point advantage on Napoli and has won both its direct clashes with Carlo Ancelotti's side this season.

"The eighth consecutive championship is in the 'loading phase'," said Juve captain Giorgio Chiellini.

"Right now, the 'uploading' is getting closer to completion. These will be two very important weeks for us."

Boosted by the summer signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus has had an unparalleled campaign, with just one defeat in 30 games on March 17 against Genoa, when the Portuguese superstar was rested.

But Massimiliano Allegri's side is building momentum as it prepares for next week's Champions League quarterfinal, first leg clash against Ajax in Amsterdam.

If it doesn’t seal the title on Sunday it can do so the following weekend with a win at SPAL.

In both cases it would be a record for the 20-team Italian championship.

Three teams have won with five games to go – Roberto Mancini's Inter Milan in 2006-2007, Torino in 1947-1948 and Fiorentina in 1955-1956.

Paris Saint-Germain holds the European record by winning Ligue 1 three years ago with eight games to spare.

Allegri wants to seal a 35th 'Scudetto' as quickly as possible, before the real seasonal goal, the coveted Champions League, last achieved in 1996.

The Serie A points record of 102 which Juventus achieved under Antonio Conte in the 2013-2014 season, remains an achievable goal as by winning the last eight remaining matches it can achieve 105.

 

'Good signs'

 

Meanwhile, Allegri revealed on Friday that Ronaldo could be back in the Juventus lineup in time for the Ajax game.

Ronaldo hasn't played for the runaway Serie A leader since scoring the sensational hat-trick that saw Juve come back from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to knock out Atletico Madrid last month.

He was rested in the subsequent 2-0 league defeat at Genoa and then picked up a thigh injury on international duty with Portugal last week, but Allegri is confident the 34-year-old will be ready for Wednesday's first leg in Amsterdam.

"There are good signals from Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the match with Ajax," he said to reporters ahead of Saturday’s visit of Milan.

Ronaldo will however not be ready for Milan, which is battling to qualify for next season's Champions League, after missing recent wins over Empoli and Cagliari, the latter of which was overshadowed by racist abuse directed at young Italy striker Moise Kean.

Kean's Juve and Italy teammate Leonardo Bonucci was heavily criticized in the aftermath of that match for saying that Kean was as to blame for the monkey chants to which he was subjected as the Cagliari supporters, comments for which he apologized on Thursday.

"Racism must always be fought against. It can never be justified," said Allegri.

"Bonucci, with his mind still on the game, expressed himself badly but immediately apologized and explained what he meant."

Should Juve win it either this weekend or next it would allow it to focus even more on winning its first Champions League since 1996.

"We'll only celebrate when we win the title. Winning eight in a row is never easy, in particular with these numbers," said Allegri, who has won four straight league and cup doubles with Juve and taken the Italian side to two Champions League finals.

"Napoli is having a season with what would often be title-winning form, but we're doing something extraordinary."

 

 

   
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