Soccer: Juve bid to end the season on a high note against Udinese

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v AC Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - May 28, 2023 Juventus team huddle before the match REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

(Reuters) - Juventus will look to end their season on a positive note by winning at Udinese on Sunday to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the Europa League, with the legal issues that have plagued the club throughout the season now behind them.

Juve will pay a fine of 718,000 euros ($790,374.40) and will not challenge last month's 10-point penalty following a settlement reached on Tuesday with Italy's soccer authorities over payments to players and the club's accounts.

With the settlement, the Turin club aim to clear the slate with the game's regulators before the end of the Serie A season and provide clarity for their future.

There will be no further points deducted for this term after the 10 Juve were docked last month in a separate soccer case regarding the club's player transfers.

Despite the points deduction, Juventus have still secured a European spot but missed out on Champions League qualification.

With one round of matches left, Max Allegri's Juve side have 59 points in seventh spot, which brings Conference League qualification. Atalanta and AS Roma are in the Europa League spots on 61 and 60 points respectively.

Under pressure after a lacklustre season, Allegri needs a win and favourable results elsewhere to secure a spot in the Europa League. Juve's mid-table opponents Udinese have nothing at stake and are on a three-match losing streak.

"This year they took everything away from us, let's hope that next year we'll start better," Allegri said after the 1-0 loss against AC Milan on Sunday.

"Let's honour the last match of the season in the best possible way, then we will make choices calmly."


Lazio will guarantee runners-up spot with a win at Empoli on Saturday, but manager Maurizio Sarri won't be present after receiving a red card last week.

There are injury doubts over midfielder Danilo Cataldi and defender Adam Marusic.

"We still need to finish well, we want to finish second. It won’t be easy in Empoli. It would be bad to give up one step away from such an important goal," Sarri said after the 3-2 win over Cremonese on Sunday.

If Lazio fail to beat Empoli then Inter Milan can sneak into second place with a victory at Torino on Saturday.

However, with Inter facing the Champions League final against Manchester City on June 10 and their top-four spot assured, manager Simone Inzaghi may decide to rest players.

Hellas Verona and Spezia are locked in a battle to determine who will join Cremonese and Sampdoria in Serie B next season.

The two teams are level on 31 points and face challenging away matches. On Sunday, Verona travel to Milan while Spezia visit Roma, who are reeling from their loss to Sevilla on penalties in Wednesday's Europa League final.

($1 = 0.9084 euros)

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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