Can European hopefuls Sampdoria stall Juve’s Scudetto celebrations?
Should Serie A leaders Juventus (5/4 favourites to win with Coral) steal just a point from hosts Sampdoria, they will be able to secure an incredible fourth successive Scudetto at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
The Old Lady will be eager to tie up the title as they prepare for a midweek Champions League tussle against Real Madrid, though with that battle in the works, could be tempted to rest top players.
Juve tactician Massimiliano Allegri told Italian press: “Players like Simone Padoin, Stefano Sturaro, Kingsley Coman and Simone Pepe have proved decisive when coming off the bench. During the course of a campaign, these are the players who become crucial.”
Basque frontman Fernando Llorente (6/1 to score first) and Italy attacker Alessandro Matri (a 15/8 chance in the anytime market) may be given the nod up front, though leading marksman Carlos Tevez (4/1 to fire home last) will surely be available to make an impact if needed.
Allegri also stated ahead of the crunch clash: “We’ll look to claim the point we need in Genoa and then focus on the Champions League and Coppa Italia. These lads are having an extraordinary term.”
If the Old Lady’s eye is trained on Europe, with the prospect of a first treble proving tantalising, Samp could pull-off a superb shock against their guests’ second string and are priced at 11/5 to spoil the party.
The Blucerchiati have held Juve to three draws in their past seven meetings, so could prove great value at 9/4 to end on even terms again.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side are yet to lose a game at fortress Luigi Ferraris this season across all competitions and are available at a tempting 23/10 to shut out their visitors. Allegri’s Turin team would almost certainly want to lift the title in triumph, however, so Sampdoria should still have a tough task on their hands.
Recent poor form has seen the hosts’ Champions League hopes dissipate, and their Europa League spot chances have also come under threat as fierce local rivals Genoa have moved within one point of their cross-town competitors.
Samp’s usual attacking suspects Luis Muriel and Samuel Eto’o are respective 2/1 and 15/8 shouts in the anytime scorer market, with Brazil-born Italy international Eder set to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.