May 1, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT
Juventus can claim its 30th league title in one of two ways this weekend.
Antonio Conte’s side can clinch the Serie A before they even step onto the pitch Monday evening against Atalanta if 2nd place AS Roma slip up against bottom club Catania on Sunday.
Or, if Roma, eight points behind the leaders, do the job against Catania, Juve can still hoist the title with a victory in Monday’s fixture.
Truth be told, Juventus has had one hand on the scudetto for what seems like the better half of a season. Roma put forth a valiant effort ripping off nine wins on the spin and achieving a club record 85 points on the season but never looked likely to dethrone the bianconeri, who have been resplendent in Serie A. Since beating Roma 3-0 on January 5th, Juventus has won 14 league matches, drawn twice and lost only once, 2-0 to Napoli on March 30th.
Juve has been particularly brilliant at home in Turin where the club has gone undefeated in the league, winning all 17 matches. The team’s defense has been staunch conceding only 23 goals, four adrift of Roma’s league-leading 19, thanks to stellar play from keeper Gianluigi Buffon and a back three of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli along with Martin Caceres and Angelo Ogbonna rotating in. In attack, Conte’s side is the most potent in Italy having scored 75 goals with Carlos Tevez (19 goals), Fernando Llorente (15 goals) and Arturo Vidal (11 goals) all enjoying strong seasons, while Andrea Pirlo remains the inspirational engine and Paul Pogba (7 goals, 6 assists) has become a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps above all, however, Juve’s bright season comes down to the mentality instilled by Conte who explained Thursday that his side “don’t know the word fear.”
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