Thursday October 29 2015
Roma march on, Juventus out of excuses

The 2015/2016 season might be the one ruled by AS Roma, while Juventus find themselves in a true crisis situation, writes Vincent Van Genechten.

It had been a while since the Giallorossi were on top of the Serie A table, and Rudi Garcia’s side are not planning on letting it slip anytime soon. They defeated Udinese pretty easily, going up 2-0 after just nine minutes and never looking back, winning 3-1.

Roma have played like an offensive machine, scoring 25 goals in 10 league matches. They also lead Serie A with a shot accuracy of 53 per cent. Roma are so versatile in attack. Already 12 Roma players have scored this season and they lead the league with eight goals from set pieces. Rudi Garcia has to address the defense, as Roma have only recorded one clean-sheet this season, against Frosinone in Week 3.

Rivals Juventus have a lot more issues to deal with. The Bianconeri suffered their fourth loss of the season, losing 1-0 at Sassuolo on Nicola Sansone’s beautiful free-kick. They have now lost more games than all of last season. Even Giorgio Chiellini didn’t play as expected, catching two yellow cards before half-time.

Juve have created 145 chances so far. That's 19 more than Roma and 43 more than Fiorentina. But Roma have scored 14 more goals, Fiorentina seven. No striker has been able to get it going for the Old Lady. Max Allergi’s team has not lost by more than one goal this season, but seemed to lack the necessary fighting spirit against the Neroverdi. Juve are out of excuses and must perform in the upcoming Derby della Mole with Torino.

Sassuolo have proven they are for real. They had never beaten Juventus, but played composed to seal the win. The Neroverdi have gained a total of 10 points in games against Juve, Napoli, Lazio, Roma and Napoli. From now on, Sassuolo must aim for a ticket to the Europa League. With all the talent in place, they could pull this off, setting up an historisch finish in Serie A.

Napoli keep on rolling. The Partenopei beat Palermo 2-0 with goals from Gonzalo Higuain and supersub Dries Mertens. Higuain now leads Serie A with eight goals, while Napoli are undefeated in their last seven games. They have won their last five, scoring 11 goals and conceding only two. It took Napoli 10 games to reach five clean sheets in this Serie A campaign. Last season they needed 19 matches. That might be Napoli’s biggest improvement this season.

Fiorentina found back their winning form. After losing two big games in a row (2-1 at Napoli and 1-2 against Roma) La Viola took three points against Verona. They were lucky when Rafael Marquez accidentally deflected the ball into his own net, but Nikola Kalinic’s sixth goal of the season gave them a new boost of confidence. The striker has now scored five goals on the road and is a front runner for best summer transfer.

Inter are not letting Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina get away. The Nerazzurri are fourth with 21 points after a 0-1 win at Bologna. Five of their six wins this season were 1-0, while the other one was 2-1. No wonder Inter have the best defense with only seven goals conceded. Milan have already conceded 15 goals and have a goal difference of -3. But the Rossoneri have won their last two games, beating Sassuolo and Chievo at home, where they have won four of five this season.

At the bottom of Serie A, three teams are in serious trouble. Carpi, Hellas Verona and Bologna have seen other teams gain points, making a gap between this trio and 17th-place Frosinone. If they don’t get their act together, the relegation battle might be over sooner than expected…

Have your say...
Its fair to say that Allegri has ruined this team. He keeps making excuse after excuse. Why does he need to have ALL his players available before he can string a set of good results together?? The lack of consistency is also infuriating. The squad changes very week. Seems like he wants one year to get his squad to gel together. Surely, an important part of every transfer policy is ensuring that the new signings integrate seamlessly into the current team.
on the 3rd November, 2015 at 3:57pm
Too many changes with Juve, he can't decide on a front pairing and a midfield, and the defense that used to keep clean sheet after clean sheet concedes in too many games. Sandro and evra can switch, pyrea and caudrado can switch. But to say these professionals getting 100K a week can't play a game every 3 or 4 days is a joke, what they cant do at present is pass it 5 yards to a black and white shirt. The play is slow and predictable and the finishing is awful, its difficult to watch, but i do!!!
on the 30th October, 2015 at 5:35pm
Its what happened in milan in his seasons following the scudetto...anyhow at milan to be fair the squad was dismantled in the end and borderline OAPs...juve dont seem to have a drive! Or any intensity in their play at all...its slow n lethargic...see what happens by xmas
on the 30th October, 2015 at 9:58am
Juve have plenty of work in front of them now.

The trouble is, after such a bad start they can forget about rotating and resting come March. And if they're still in Europe by then, they could be on their last leg.

The CL is no longer straightforward either after the draw with Gladbach. A defeat in Germany next week and they'll be under serious pressure to qualify.

Allegri really needs to stop tinkering.
on the 29th October, 2015 at 11:30pm

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