One point against Zenit Saint Petersburg is enough for Juventus to ensure its place in the Top 16 of the Champions League from Tuesday (9:00 p.m.): essential to bring a little serenity to Bianconeri disoriented in the league.
“We have to achieve the first goal, qualifying in the eighth, to prove something to ourselves. Because that’s not going well.” New center of gravity of the team since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paolo Dybala sounded the mobilization on Saturday after the fourth defeat in eleven days of Serie A, against Hellas Verona (1-2).
After a disastrous start to the season, the worst in sixty years, Juve was thought to be cured after a series of poor successes but based on a newfound strength, in particular against Chelsea (1-0) in C1.
The ace! The happy draw against Inter Milan (1-1) then the two losses in the league against Sassuolo (1-2) and Verona recalled the lack of consistency of this Juve taken over by Massimiliano Allegri.
Here is Juve (9th) pushed back to 16 points by co-leaders Naples and Milan, already badly on track in the scudetto race.
Sign that the hour is serious, a collective greening was decreed for the week, according to the Italian press, which had not happened since the 2015/16 season, already with Allegri on the bench: the effect had then was immediate, since the Bianconeri had then chained fifteen consecutive successes and had retained their title at the end of the season.
This greening “is not a punishment but a desire to understand: Allegri wants to analyze with his team what happened”, assured the Turin sports daily Tuttosport on Monday.
“Juventus know (a little) how to defend, but have no ideas on how to attack, if not to give the ball to Dybala and to hope”, cracked the Gazetta dello sport this weekend while tackling several very disappointing players (Morata, Bentancur, Rabiot, Kean …) and the coach himself: “Today, the coach is indefensible. He gives the impression of not having studied football for two years. “
Allegri did not hide his disillusion on Saturday by criticizing the state of mind of his players: “We must change our attitude and have more the desire to give ourselves trouble: football is not foil”, had launched “Max”.
In this context, the most important match of the week for Juve will undoubtedly be that against Fiorentina (three points ahead of the Bianconeri), Saturday in the league.
But ensuring the qualification in C1 on Tuesday would greatly lighten the atmosphere.
Thanks to their faultless C1, with three wins and no conceded goals, Juve only needs a draw against Zenit (3rd at 6 points) to secure their ticket to the eighth, for the eighth season of rank. Even if she will definitely want to win to preserve her three point lead over Chelsea (2nd, 6 pts) before playing 1st place among Londoners on November 23.
This qualification would allow Juventus to remain the flagship of Italian football on the continental scene, where the other three Azzurri representatives are struggling (none in the top two of their group at mid-term). A status that she lost in Italy.