Juventus are on the verge of winning a historic sixth Serie A title on the spin. No team in the history of Italian football has won the crown more than five times on the bounce, with Inter Milan the last before I Bianconeri to achieve that feat during the early '00s.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men have been irrepressible in their bid to become the first to win sixth titles on the bounce, adding to their already long list of achievements since their revival under Antonio Conte in 2011 as the dominant force in the country.
I Bianconeri hold a seven-point lead at the top of the table after suffering just four defeats in their 25 matches. Therefore it would take an uncharacteristic collapse of incomprehensible measures for Allegri’s men not to clinch the crown given their form, despite the best efforts of Roma and Napoli among the chasing teams to dislodge them from pole position.
Juve are backed in the latest bet365 Serie A betting odds at 1/12 to win the crown, highlighting their dominance at the top of the division. Allegri’s side have not allowed themselves to be put off course and that is unlikely to change, even in light of their commitments in the Champions League and the Coppa Italia in the second half of the campaign.
Defensively Daniel Alves has added a new dimension for his team since signing from Barcelona last summer. Juve have been more expansive in the final third this term due to the signing of Gonzalo Higuain, which has seen them hit the back of the net 54 times thus far.
Allegri has been less rigid with his formation at the back, relying on the versatility of his players, like Alves, Kwadwo Asamoah, Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro to play both at full-back and wing-back. Injuries have played a part in this change as Andrea Barzagli has been sidelined, while Giorgio Chiellini has had fitness issues as well, which has brought the best out of their team-mates.
Alves was not known for his fine defensive work during his time with Barcelona, with the Catalan club able to blast teams away with their offensive power, which the Brazilian was very much a significant part of due to his deep running from right back. However, he has managed his style with Juve becoming part of the stout backline that has been the bedrock of their push for the crown.
Allegri’s men have not been as stout as previous seasons, although their effectiveness in the final third has more than made up for their lapses at the start of the campaign. They have conceded 17 goals this term – which is unusually high for this time of year considering the most they shipped during their previous five title wins is 24 strikes.
As a result, Juve have work to do to preserve that record and they have shown signs of tightening up, keeping five clean sheets on the bounce before conceding a late consolation goal in their 4-1 hammering of Palermo last time out from Ivan Chochev. Gianluigi Buffon was furious with his team-mates following the incident, highlighting the perfection demanded at I Bianconeri.
Alves has been part of many successful teams during his career, but chasing history this term could be one of his proudest achievements. Allegri and his side are on course and should be able to see out an incredible achievement come the end of the term.