Soccer-Juventus bid to keep faint top-four hopes alive against Milan

(Reuters) - Juventus need to beat AC Milan in their final home match of the season on Sunday to maintain their slim hopes of a top-four finish in Serie A after their recent 10-point deduction sent them tumbling down the table.

Juve were docked points on Monday after a new ruling by an Italian soccer court in a case centred on their transfer dealings dropped them from second to seventh in the table, outside of the European qualification places.

With two matches remaining, Massimiliano Allegri's side have 59 points and trail fourth-placed Milan by five in the race for the last Champions League spot.

The announcement of the points deduction came shortly before Juventus's 4-1 defeat at Empoli on Monday.

Allegri acknowledged that the uncertainty over their situation had taken its toll, as it was the second time this season that the club had been docked points, having successfully appealed against a previous penalty.

"When you step onto the field, you have to win once again because we have to catch up once again. Every time we try to make progress, we are pushed back down," Allegri said.

"The next few days won’t be easy either, because we went out of the Europa League, then had this news 10 minutes before kickoff (against Empoli), while for three months, we’ve had points taken away and given back.

"It’s not justification, but this is, without doubt, an anomalous season for us, and despite it all, the team earned 69 points."

Allegri will have Juan Cuadrado and Danilo back from suspension for the game against Milan, but Leonardo Bonucci, Mattia De Sciglio and Paul Pogba remain sidelined due to injuries.


Inter Milan are ending their season on a high, having successfully retained their Coppa Italia title with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Wednesday to clinch a second trophy of the campaign after they won the Italian Super Cup in January.

They have a crucial Champions League final to come against Manchester City on June 10 and a win at home against Atalanta on Saturday would secure a top-four finish for them.

Inter had won five league games in a row before last weekend's loss to champions Napoli, while fifth-placed Atalanta have lost two of their last three.

AS Roma, in sixth place, face Fiorentina, who will be looking to rebound after their Coppa Italia final defeat.

Roma have failed to win any of their last six league games, drawing four times.

At the bottom of the table, three teams are fighting to avoid finishing in the final relegation place, with Cremonese and Sampdoria already condemned to Serie B.

Three points separates Verona in 18th from Lecce in 16th, with Spezia sandwiched between them, a point ahead of Verona.

Spezia host Torino on Saturday, while Lecce travel to Monza on Sunday.

Hellas Verona, who occupy the last relegation spot, are home against Empoli on Sunday with Milan awaiting them at San Siro in the final round of matches.

Lazio have already secured their return to the Champions League for next season, and can take a big step towards cementing second place when they host Cremonese on Sunday.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Football

Soccer-Perfect Inter take on pointless Empoli
Soccer-Tottenham improvement under Postecoglou faces acid test at Arsenal
Soccer-England women, FA reach agreement over bonuses, says Bright
Soccer-Argentina remain top of FIFA world rankings
Soccer-Dortmund need win against Wolfsburg as storm clouds gather
Soccer-Spurs chairman Levy says it was a mistake to appoint Mourinho, Conte
Soccer-Romania FA sanctioned over 'Serbia' chants in Kosovo match
Soccer-Ancelotti hails Bellingham's quality - and luck
Soccer-Man Utd keeper Onana takes responsibility for defeat at Bayern
Soccer-Arsenal channelled emotion of Champions League return, says Arteta

Others Also Read