Roma v Juventus – Stadio Olimpico at 19:45 live at BT Sport
Juventus reached a ninth Champions League final in midweek as – having lead 2-0 from the first leg of their semi-final tie with Monaco – the Old Lady doubled their advantage before half-time to cruise into next month’s showpiece from Cardiff.
The final 20 minutes of that encounter was played at pre-season pace but with a strangely spiky atmosphere with the result long but confirmed. There may have been a few knocks and bruises in those final moments but the Bianconeri’s mind will have switched focus with Sunday night’s clash now key.
Scudetto within reach
Sure, there could be the potential for an emotional comedown from their progression to the Champions League final but Juve look primed to secure an unprecedented sixth successive Scudetto this weekend when they travel to nearest challengers Roma.
Max Allegri’s men lead the capital club by seven points with three games remaining and a point in this match would be enough to secure yet more Serie A silverware. Sami Khedira looks like missing out but other than that the Old Lady appear injury-free and motivated.
Therefore, it’s hard to dismiss quotes of 1.75 on Juventus with a +0.25 start on Sunday night. We’ll essentially make money if they avoid defeat at the Stadio Olimpico; the Bianconeri have suffered just one reverse in seven head-to-heads with Roma and only four losses across their campaign as a whole.
The Giallorossi are without the suspended Kevin Strootman and their top-scorer Edin Dzeko, the victim of a calf strain, two major blows for the hosts. Dzeko notched a brace in last week’s 4-1 win at Milan to pull clear at the top of scoring charts in Italy.
Not everyone at Roma are enjoying themselves, mind. Head coach Luciano Spalletti was forced to answer critics about his usage (or lack of) of Francesco Totti and his future now appears bleak.
Spalletti, having brought such optimism when he returned to the club last January, has fallen short of his stated goal of winning a trophy this season. He suggested he’d leave should he fail to win a trophy and it does appear that the club are preparing to start over.
Monchi’s appointment as sporting director has been confirmed, and already he has been linked with a move to bring his former Sevilla colleague Unai Emery in as manager. Legendary Totti seems likely to finally hang up his boots as the Giallorossi squad is expected to undergo a significant overhaul.
Tight battle expected
Roma may have won 17 of their past 20 games as hosts in Serie A but they’ve been ousted from the Coppa Italia semi-finals by Lazio, out-played by Lyon in France and don’t appear in the right place to topple Juventus here.
Expect the Old Lady to look to shut the game down and with a tight battle expected, the visitors should clinch their record-breaking sixth Serie A crown by avoiding defeat.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Juventus +0.25 Asian Handicap (1.75)
Prices correct at time of writing.