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Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus Face Key January Test

Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus face a key check of their ambitions to clinch a 10th consecutive Serie A title in a packed January of soccer in Italy after a stuttering begin which has left the holders sixth within the league.

Serie A returns this weekend after the mini-break of the Christmas interval with a good January schedule.

Juventus host Udinese on Sunday earlier than taking over three of the highest 4 this month, with six Serie A fixtures along with Italian Cup and TremendousCup commitments.

The two Milan golf equipment — the one groups other than Juventus to have received the league up to now 20 years — are on prime as they give the impression of being to convey the title again to Lombardy.

AC Milan are flying excessive one level forward of Antonio Conte’s Inter with Roma in third, six factors off second place.

Juventus are sixth, 10 factors adrift of prime spot, however having performed a sport much less.

After Udinese, Juventus go to AC Milan within the San Siro subsequent Wednesday earlier than internet hosting fourth-placed Sassuolo in Turin adopted by a visit to play Inter.

Despite topping their Champions League group, Juventus have struggled for consistency on the home entrance, counting on Cristiano Ronaldo’s targets.

The Portuguese striker has scored 12 of Juventus’s 25 league targets this marketing campaign.

In the league, they’ve six attracts and 6 wins, falling to their first league defeat of the season 3-Zero to Fiorentina at house earlier than Christmas.

“Sometimes it happens we’re not 100 percent. Now we have to start again with desire, thinking about the mistakes we made and carrying out our project,” stated Pirlo.

The former Italy and Juventus star can take coronary heart from the truth that within the 2015-2016 season, they have been 12th after ten matches, however powered again to win the title.

“It’s premature to talk about the title,” stated Milan coach Stefano Pioli.

“Juventus stay favourites, a staff that within the final 9 years have received as many titles and have many champions.

“But there may be additionally Inter, who got here inside one level of Juve final 12 months and spent some huge cash within the switch market. In addition, Inter don’t have any European commitments.”

Both Milan groups return in opposition to two promoted golf equipment.

AC Milan, with out injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a seventh consecutive league sport, look to proceed their unbeaten run at midtable Benevento, as Inter Milan host struggling Crotone.

Behind the leaders, Roma host former coach Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria, who’re in 11th.

Fourth-placed Sassuolo journey to Atalanta, in seventh, for a conflict between two attacking groups concentrating on European soccer.

Fifth-placed Napoli look to finish their three-match winless run at Cagliari, however with out injured ahead Dries Mertens, defender Kalidou Koulibaly and striker Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian having examined constructive for Covid-19, having been sidelined since November with a shoulder harm.

One to observe: Radja Nainggolan

Radja Nainggolan warned he needed to have an effect on 15th-placed Cagliari after rejoining on a second mortgage from Inter Milan.

“I arrive in Cagliari with nice need, after three troublesome months the place I by no means noticed the pitch,” stated the Belgian midfielder.

Nainggolan featured simply 4 instances within the league for Inter this marketing campaign with lower than an hour on the pitch in complete.

The former Roma participant has scored 13 targets for Cagliari, the place he additionally performed from 2010-2014, together with six final season.

Cagliari are and not using a win in two months.

Key stats:

26 – Sassuolo’s factors after 14 video games, a report for the membership

12 – Cristiano Ronaldo leads the Serie A goal-scoring charts

7 – Inter Milan’s profitable streak

3 – Napoli’s winless run

1 – Points between leaders Milan and Inter

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