After claiming the season’s first silverware on Wednesday night, Juventus await the visit of lowly Bologna on Sunday, aiming to get their Scudetto defence back on track.
Having lifted the Supercoppa Italiana following victory over Napoli, sixth-placed Juve will now seek to recover from a chastening defeat to Inter Milan last time out in Serie A.
Juventus have picked up 33 league points throughout a so far inconsistent campaign, which represents their joint-lowest tally at this stage in the last decade – a period during which they have dominated Calcio, with nine successive Scudetti to prove it.
Their most troublesome issues under rookie coach Andrea Pirlo have been a disjointed midfield and in defence, where the Bianconeri have curiously kept just three clean sheets to date – despite having one of the best ‘goals conceded’ columns on the peninsula.
Certainly, that is where their weaknesses were exposed by the ruthless counter-attacking of experienced Inter last week, as Pirlo’s men capitulated in the Derby d’Italia.
Subsequent victory in the Supercoppa has proved a pleasant distraction from their recent travails, as they have slipped ten points off the furious pace set by would-be ‘Winter Champions’ Milan – albeit with a game in hand.
Ahead of next week’s eminently winnable Coppa Italia quarter-final tie with Serie B side SPAL, Bologna’s visit would appear to present a perfect opportunity to keep the pressure on in the Milan clubs’ rear-view mirror – with the Emilian outfit a regular whipping boy for the Old Lady.