Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | ePaper

Ronaldo's Juve ready to seal Serie A before Ajax decider

  • Print


AFP, Milan :
Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus head to SPAL on Saturday needing just a point to wrap up an eighth consecutive Serie A title in record time before their crucial Champions League decider against Ajax in Turin next week.
Ronaldo returned from injury to score a precious away goal for Juventus in their 1-1 Champions League quarter-final, first leg draw in Amsterdam on Wednesday, and the 34-year-old can claim his first Italian league title to add to his two in Spain with Real Madrid and three with Manchester United.
It would be a 28th trophy in four countries for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, a haul which includes five Champions League, and the Euro 2016 title with Portugal.
Juventus have a 20-point advantage on second-placed Napoli and a draw would seal their 35th 'Scudetto' with six games to spare - the earliest any team has ever sealed Serie A - thanks to their superior head-to-head record over Carlo Ancelotti's side.
SPAL, 16th and just four points above the drop zone, had eased their relegation fears with three consecutive wins that included victories over Champions League-chasing Lazio and Roma, but lost last weekend at Cagliari.
Leonardo Semplici dogged side also have history against them, as they have beaten Juventus just once in their history, way back in 1957.
Given the relative weakness of the weekend's opposition, coach Massimiliano Allegri may not want to risk Ronaldo ahead of Tuesday's Champions League decider and could rotate his side.
Forwards Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa came off the bench at Ajax ahead of highly-rated teenager Moise Kean, who had scored five goals in as many games for Juventus.
All three could start against SPAL.
Leonardo Bonucci looks set to work overtime with defenders Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Martin Caceres all out injured.
"Let's close down the championship on Saturday," urged Bonucci.
Second-placed Napoli travel to bottom club Chievo looking for a boost after their demoralising 2-0 Europa League quarter-final, first leg defeat at Arsenal.
Carlo Ancelotti's side are without a win in three games and next week host Arsenal in their Stadio San Paulo hoping for a miracle. - Champions League hunt heats up -
Inter Milan, seven points behind Napoli, can consolidate third place at second-from-bottom Frosinone after last weekend's draw against fellow Europe-chasers Atalanta.
Inter are five points ahead of both Atalanta and fourth-placed city rivals AC Milan who occupy the final Champions League berth but have taken just one point from their last four games.
Gennaro Gattuso's Milan also have Roma, Torino and Lazio within three points of them as they host Simone Inzaghi's capital club at the San Siro days after UEFA ordered another probe into the club for Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.
Claudio Ranieri's Roma play Udinese looking to build on last weekend's gutsy win at Sampdoria.
"Obviously the Sampdoria game was a confidence boost for us all, but for now we need to keep doing what we're doing," said Ranieri.
"We need the fans to get behind us and realise that this is a key game for us.
"We're in the hunt for the Champions League places - that's where we want to finish and the fans share that."
Vincenzo Montella will begin his second stint as coach of mid-table Fiorentina at home against Bologna on Sunday.
His team's hopes of qualifying for next season's Europa League have plummeted after a terrible run of form that has left them 12 points off the second-tier European competition.

More News For this Category

Cristiano Ronaldo will not face rape charges in US

Cristiano Ronaldo will not face rape charges in US

AFP, Los Angeles :Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will not face any charges over an alleged rape in Las Vegas a decade ago after US prosecutors said Monday they did not

Chelsea defeat Barcelona 2-1 in Rakuten Cup clash in Japan

Chelsea defeat Barcelona 2-1 in Rakuten Cup clash in Japan

Chelsea beat Barcelona 2-1 in their Rakuten Cup clash in Japan on Tuesday. The result is Frank Lampard's most impressive as Chelsea boss to date, with his side putting in

Liverpool fall 2-1 to Sevilla in Fenway friendly

Liverpool fall 2-1 to Sevilla in Fenway friendly

AFP, New York :Alejandro Pozo delivered the late dagger in 10-man Sevilla's 2-1 friendly win over Liverpool in Boston Sunday, a defeat made worse for the European champions when they

Pogba should stay at Manchester United, says Juan Mata

Pogba should stay at Manchester United, says Juan Mata

Juan Mata says Paul Pogba is a positive influence in the Manchester United changing room and has called on him to stay and help bring trophies back to Old Trafford.Pogba

BPL resumes today

After a two-day recess, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) football resumes today with two matches billed for the day at two separate venues across the country.On the day, Saif Sporting

Neymar's Barcelona transfer 'difficult': Griezmann

Neymar's Barcelona transfer 'difficult': Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann says Barcelona must complete a "difficult" transfer for Neymar before he starts contemplating an all-star attack with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo denied there

Real Madrid ready to move Welsh star Bale

Real Madrid ready to move Welsh star Bale

AFP, Los Angeles :Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane says the La Liga giants are poised to offload Welsh star Gareth Bale in the coming days.Bale was left off

Nketiah strikes again in Arsenal's 3-0 friendly win over Fiorentina

Nketiah strikes again in Arsenal's 3-0 friendly win over Fiorentina

AFP, Washington :Youngster Edward Nketiah made it three goals in two matches Saturday with a brace that boosted Arsenal to a 3-0 win over Fiorentina in a pre-season friendly

Bayern steal spotlight with 3-1 friendly win in Hazard's Real debut

Bayern steal spotlight with 3-1 friendly win in Hazard's Real debut

AFP, Los Angeles :Bayern Munich spoiled Eden Hazard's Real Madrid debut, downing the Spanish giants 3-1 in a friendly in Houston Saturday despite goalkeeper Sven Ulreich's sending off.Corentin Tolisso,

Argentina hero Bilardo in serious condition after brain surgery

Argentina hero Bilardo in serious condition after brain surgery

AFP, Buenos Aires :Argentina's 1986 World Cup winning coach Carlos Bilardo is in a serious condition in hospital following brain surgery, the center treating him has confirmed.The 81-year-old was taken