Soccer

Your! Call: Can Juventus hold off Roma for the Serie A title?

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Nick Andrade
8/29/2014 3:20:49 PM
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The 2013-14 Serie A season was all but sealed by Match Day 13 when Juventus took hold of first place.

The Team from Turin never looked back and claimed the Scudetto for a third straight season by a wide 17-point margin over second place AS Roma. Juventus set a record for most wins in a season with 33 in 38 matches, and managed a stretch of 12 straight wins from Oct. 27 to Jan. 18.

Despite the large gap between the two teams Roma started last season strong with a Serie A record 10 straight victories to open the year. Their demise seemed to be a stretch of five draws in six games following the winning streak.

Can Juventus hold off Roma for their fourth straight title?

It will be a tough challenge for a team who lost their head coach in July. Antonio Conte left Juventus by mutual consent to head the Italian national soccer team. Massimiliano Allegri is the man filling in his shoes. The 47-year-old was relieved of his duties as manager of AC Milan in January after Milan won only five matches in their first 19 league games. Allegri led Milan to a Serie A title in 2010-11 his first year on the job, so it will be interesting to see if he can do the same with Juventus.

Juve tinkered during the transfer window acquiring Patrice Evra from Manchester United to bolster their defence already boasting the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

They also added 21-year-old Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for 20 million euros. The youngster will add depth to an already talented core of strikers. Carlos Tevez had a renaissance season with 19 goals, good for third in the league last year, while Fernando Llorente was right behind him with 16.

The real strength of Juventus comes from the midfield with the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Kwadwo Asamoah. The 35-year-old Pirlo along with Vidal and Claudio Marchisio will continue to control the pace at centre midfield, while Pogba has become an explosive young talent.

However, with Pirlo and Buffon aging and a harsh schedule which includes Champions League play: Will Juventus have enough in the tank?

The closest competition for the Serie A title seems to be Roma, and the club certainly made a push in the off-season to improve on the second place finish. The Rome club purchased veteran left-back Ashley Cole from Chelsea, 21-year-old Argentine striker Juan Iturbe and midfielder Seydou Keita. If manager Rudi Garcia can get Mattia Destro going and get the most out of Gervinho once again, Roma could improve on their already dynamic offence that finished third in league scoring a season ago.

Napoli could also make a push for first with the likes of newly acquired Michu from Swansea, World Cup standout Gonzalo Higuain, and Dries Mertens, Rafael Benitez's squad could prove to be tricky to their major competition.

Inter Milan is looking to improve from their fifth-place finish by adding striker Daniel Osvaldo from Southampton and strengthening their defence with former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic, and Chile's World Cup iron man Gary Medal.

AC Milan had a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Serie A last season, but with Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi being named manager, the addition of Fernando Torres, and the departure of disgruntled star Mario Balotelli, there's a reason for the Rossoneri faithful to believe.

Does Juventus have enough in the tank to hold off AS Roma for another Scudetto or will another team emerge to take the Serie A title away from the 30-time champion?

As always, it's Your! Call

Pirlo Totti (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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