Although it is tight at the top of the Serie A table, Juventus appear to be in pole position to retain their title, and Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri attributes it to his side’s defensive strength.
In fact, Juventus and Gianluigi Buffon are on the verge of breaking the record for the most number of consecutive clean sheets earned in the Serie A since its current format was adopted.
While that is a team record, Gigi Buffon is on the brink of setting a personal milestone as well. The veteran goalkeeper has now not conceded a single goal for 843 consecutive minutes in the Serie A.
If Buffon manages to keep a clean sheet in Juve’s next match against Sassuolo, he would break former AC Milan keeper Sebastian Rossi’s record of going 929 minutes without conceding. In doing so, he would also cross legendary Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Dino Zoff, whose record stands at 903 minutes.
In the post-match press conference after a routine 2-0 win over Atalanta, Allegri reiterated the importance of keeping clean sheets in the title race.
“When you don’t concede, a top-of-the-table side such as ours has the players at its disposal capable of netting match-winning goals,” Allegri was quoted as saying by Juventus’s official website. “The title-chasing teams typically score between 65 and 90 times in a campaign and so when you don’t let in many at the other end, it’s of course easier to win the league. This season, however, is extremely tight, as Napoli have conceded eight more goals than us, but they’ve also scored eight more.”
The new-look Juve
Allegri himself conceded that this season’s Juventus side are completely different from last season’s version, as a number of top senior players left the Italian giants in the summer of 2015 — the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez have all moved on to different challenges.
However, a new crop of players have come to the fore for the Bianconeri, as they go in search of a fifth consecutive Serie A title this season. The likes of Paulo Dybala, Paul Pogba, Simone Zaza, Alex Sandro, and Stefano Sturaro have all impressed with their performances this season, seamlessly taking over from the old guard.