Soccer: Juve may clinch title in derby on Sunday

Turin side set to retain Serie A crown

Soccer: Juve may clinch title in derby on Sunday

(By Paul Virgo) Rome, April 22 - Juventus may be able to celebrate retaining the Serie A title against city rivals Torino in next Sunday's derby match. The Turin giants can move out of reach with four games to spare if they win and second-placed Napoli draw against bottom-side Pescara away on Saturday. A draw will suffice if Napoli lose. After they beat third-placed AC Milan 1-0 on Sunday, Antonio Conte's side only need four points from their last five games to be sure of wrapping up the title, even if Napoli win all of their remaining games. By handing Milan their first league defeat since December, thanks to a second-half penalty by in-form Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, Juve made sure they stayed 11 points ahead of Napoli, who beat Cagliari 3-2. But Conte, who has resurrected his former club after a long unsuccessful period since taking over in 2011, does not want the talk of early title celebrations causing distractions. "I don't want to think about when or against whom the decisive victory could come, I'm only interested in wrapping up the scudetto race," said Conte, a former Italy midfielder who has given his side the determination, athleticism and tactical intelligence he had as a player. "After that, we can celebrate and relax following a very demanding season. "We know all about Torino's desire to beat us and about the hidden dangers that await us in Sunday's derby. "We need four points to win the title, but now we must not have any distractions. Let's wait to say the word scudetto. "We have to remain concentrated for these five matches". Vidal has become one of the symbols of Juve's charge for the title. His cooly taken spot-kick on Sunday was his eighth league goal of the season and came less than a week after he scored the double that sank Lazio 2-0. He is in tremendous physical shape and is capable of both destroying opponents' moves and setting up his own. Indeed, lots of big European clubs have got their eyes on him and there has been speculation Juve may sell the 25-year-old to help finance the signing of a top international player in the close season. But Vidal would not be easy to replace and he says he does not want to leave Turin. "I'm happy here and so are my family," Vidal said. "Wearing this shirt is a source of pride for me and I want to continue". The Chilean has the same line as Conte about the title countdown. "We're aren't saying the word scudetto yet," he said. "We still need four points. First we have to bring them home and then we'll start celebrating. "We don't care about winning the scudetto against Torino. I'm interested in winning and that's it". Sunday's win was marred by racist chants Juve fans directed at Milan's Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng during the pre-match warm-up. This means Juve risk having to play their home match against Palermo on May 5, which may be the decisive clash for the title, behind closed doors as they have already been fined many times this season for racist taunts by their supporters.

Lascia il tuo commento

Condividi le tue opinioni su Gazzetta del Sud online

Caratteri rimanenti: 400

Le altre notizie

i più letti di oggi