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Matthew Coccoluto On December - 15 - 2011

Juventus Now and Ahead: A Look At What Is Happening In Torino

Monday saw Juventus go back to the top of the table but their grip on the lead has loosened, as they are now level on points with Udinese. Following the draw with Roma, Juve and Udinese now both have 30 points on the season, and although Conte and his men have expressed their delight with the draw, one can’t help but feel that this was a missed opportunity for Juve, especially considering that Milan drew Bologna. That being said, looking ahead, Juventus are still looking fine going into the last weeks of 2011.

Juventus walk away from the capital with their head high after earning the hard fought point, despite completely outshooting Roma 22 to 11. Roma only had 4 shots on Buffon while Stekelenberg stopped Juve 9 times. On the other hand, Juve were fortunate that Buffon got in front of Francesco Totti’s penalty, something that many goalkeepers have failed to do. ThiConte expressed in the past weeks how he plans on using all of his players, even the ones who haven’t featured as much this season, and it looks that he is sticking to his word. Fabio Quaglierella has appeared in six straight games after sitting out the first part of the season. Also featured against Roma were Emanuele Giaccherini and Elijero Elia. Giaccherini who fell out of the starting line-up after picking up an injury early on, has played well in his last two games, and had a very clear shot on goal which he directed right at Stekelenberg. Elia had only played in one match prior to last weeks Coppa Italia fixture and although he started off slow against Bologna, he ended the game very promising. Conte must have noticed as the Dutch winger was given a late substitution against Roma and set up Quaglierella for what should have been a late winner. Looking at the progress of this season, there isn’t much a Juve fan can complain about. They remain the only unbeaten team in the four major leagues of Europe and they are doing everything necessary to win the league this year.

So far this season, Juve have rarely slipped points at home, while taking points from the tougher opponents on the road. Regardless of Roma’s current place on the table, they are still a talented team, and their fans make the Olympico a very difficult place to play. Three of the toughest stadiums to play on the road in Italy are the Olympico, San Siro, and San Paolo. Of the five games Juve have to play at those stadiums; they have played four, winning two and drawing another two. Not many teams will boast that sort of record in those stadiums. Juventus now look ahead to Novara next weekend and Udinese three days later before the winter break. Conte will have to do without Vidal and Bonucci for Novara as both picked up yellow cards and will be consequentially suspended. Expect De Ceglie to fill in for Bonucci and many sources are saying that Conte will shift to a more traditional 4-4-2 to fill in for Vidal. The bigger test comes three days after as Juve travel to Udinese for the final game of 2011. However fortune seems to be on Juve’s side as they travel to face an Udinese team that will be returning from Lazio three days prior.

It appears that this Juve team still has some untouched potential and it seems the Antonio Conte will continue to use a variety of different player combination to achieve maximum results. It is inevitable that games won’t go his way, but Conte has yet to allow his team to fall into a pattern of poor results. The biggest test for Conte now, is will he be able to keep his team from getting complacent in the future months. There is still a long season ahead and no team can afford to drop points.

Matthew Coccoluto

Originally from Boston now in LA. I work in production but football is my passion. I bleed black and white. Proud member of the Juventus Fan Club of Southern California. Forza Juve, Sempre Sara.

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