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Serie A: Red-Hot Ronaldo Hungry for Goals, Victory at Verona

Hellas Verona vs Juventus

To anyone who foolishly thought Cristiano Ronaldo was done, think again. The now-35-year-old Juventus star has turned back the clock and is back to scoring goals for fun.

Ronaldo and the Serie A leaders will be eager to keep that fine run going this weekend as they take on Hellas Verona.

The newly promoted side has been quite impressive in their own right as their Serie A 2020 results clearly show. They have yet to lose a game this calendar year.

But while they will be at home, the Serie A 2020 predictions will be very much against them preserving that unbeaten run against the champions.

 

Talking Points

Verona taking care of business

Juventus may be leading the form table over the last six matches with five wins and a lone defeat, but Verona aren’t too far behind in fourth.

I Gialloblu are unbeaten in their last seven league matches with three wins and four draws. They are coming off back-to-back stalemates against AC Milan (1-1) and Lazio (0-0).

Their goalless draw against Lazio was particularly impressive. Not only did they pick up a point at the Stadio Olimpico, but they also became the first team to keep a clean sheet against Lazio in the league since Inter back in September.

Verona are currently in ninth place in the league. They are an unspectacular attacking side with just 26 goals scored. 35-year-old Giampaolo Pazzini is in a four-way tie for the team lead with just three goals.

However, they have proven to be quite resolute in defence. They’ve conceded just 23 goals thus far, which is the fourth-best defensive record in the league, two goals behind Juve.

But aside from their draw against Lazio, Verona have generally struggled against the better sides in the league. Six of their seven defeats this season have come against AC Milan, Juventus, Napoli, Inter, Roma, and Atalanta.

 

Ronaldo on fire

Cristiano Ronaldo has been in sensational form since the start of 2020. The Portuguese superstar ended 2019 by scoring six goals in six games, and he has kept on banging in the goals into the new year.

Ronaldo has scored in all six of Juventus’ games thus far this year and has 10 goals in total. He kicked things off with a brilliant hat-trick against Cagliari, where he also assisted on the other goal of a 4-0 win.

He’s hardly slowed down since and has been a big reason why Juve have preserved their three-point lead atop the table. Inter’s recent string of draws, which includes one against Atalanta, has also played a factor.

Ronaldo is coming off another brace, with both goals coming from the penalty spot, in Juve’s routine 3- win over Fiorentina. His recent scoring binge has now seen him rise to second in the Serie A scoring charts with 19 goals, six behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile.

Maurizio Sarri's Juventus are sitting atop the Serie A standings
                                                         Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri believes his side has the upper hand over Verona

Admittedly, Maurizio Sarri’s men have had their hiccups away from home. Both of their losses this season have come away from the Allianz Stadium, and they’ve also come in two of their last four away trips.

Although, those were tough matches against third-placed Lazio as well as Napoli, who, despite their struggles this season, remain one of the most talented sides in all of Serie A.

It should still be noted that of Juventus’ seven away wins, only one has been by more than one goal. That was against Atalanta in November (1-3). But with Ronaldo in blinding form, that might just be about to change.

 

History

As expected, recent meetings between Juventus and Verona have been quite one-sided. The two have played 20 times since 1996, with Juve winning 15 and Verona only two.

Juventus won their first meeting this season at home, 2-1. They had to come from behind after Miguel Veloso had given Verona a shock lead.

However, Verona have held their own against Juve at home in recent matchups. Their last win over Juventus back in 2016 came at home. They also held the champions to back-to-back 2-2 draws in the previous two matches at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

 

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